SACRAMENTO – Since graduating from Sacramento State University with his bachelors and master’s in 2007, Luke Wood (known professionally as J. Luke Wood) has went on to become a bestselling educational author. After serving as a research fellow at Stanford University, Wood later earned his PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Arizona State University. Currently, he serves as an Associate Professor and doctoral program director at San Diego State University (SDSU).
Wood has been a prolific writer, authoring more than 100 publications including 60 peer-reviewed journal articles on 14 books. These works have positioned Wood as a leading authority on community college leadership and issues facing Black and Latino men in these institutions. However, his most recent book has extended his recognition into issues facing boys and young men of color in schools. Earlier this year, Wood co-authored a book with fellow SDSU Professor Frank Harris III titled, Teaching Boys and Young Men of Color: A Guidebook.
The book is based on narratives that they elicited from 216 K-12 teachers in six states (e.g., California, Florida, Georgia, New York, North Carolina, and Texas) who had a documented track record of success in teaching males of color. Each teacher was nominated by their school principals based on this track record and agreed to share their insights with Wood and Harris III. The result has been a book with 35 recommendations that instruct teachers and other school educators on how to teach boys and young men of color. Specifically, these recommendation address relationship-building, teaching and learning practices, and classroom management.
Since its release, the book has quickly become a popular resource among school educators. This past week (May 31st and June 1) the Kindle version of the book became a number 1 bestseller on Amazon in three categories, including Multicultural Education, Philosophy and Social Aspects, and Education and Reference (short reads). In response to the book’s success, Wood stated “I’m proud that this book is addressing one of the greatest challenges of our time, the success of our Black and Latino boys and young men. Most teachers have the heart to change this challenge and our book is giving them a blueprint for doing so”.
Only two years ago, the Obama administration launched their My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) initiative to improve outcomes for males of color, with a focus on Black and Latino youth. “Our goal is to support this initiative by providing the resources and training necessary to ensure that our Black son’s receive the education and support that they deserve” said Wood.