Omiunota Ukpokodu

Omiunota  Ukpokodu
Education, Social Work and Psychological Sciences

Contact Info
325 Education


Omiunota N. Ukpokodu, Ph.D. is originally from Nigeria, Africa, where she taught elementary, secondary, and teacher training college, before immigrating to the United States in 1982. She is a Fulbright-Hays Scholar (South Africa, 2007), She is a full professor in the Division of Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies in the School of Education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Missouri. Her research and teaching areas include teacher education, critical multicultural education, transformative learning and pedagogy, culturally responsive pedagogy, urban education, Ubuntu pedagogy, equity and social justice education, social studies/citizenship education, global education, and African immigrant education and issues. She has served as the coordinator of the social studies program, the MA with an emphasis in multicultural education, and the Interdisciplinary Ph.D program. She is the author of the book, You can’t teach us if you don’t know us and care about us: Becoming an Ubuntu, responsive and responsible urban teacher (Peter Lang Publishing, 2016). She is co-editor of two books, Erasing invisibility: inequity, social injustice of Africans in the Diaspora and the Continent (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017) and Contemporary voices from the margin: African educators on African and American education (Information Age Publishing, 2012). Her publications have also appeared in nationally and internationally recognized journals such as Multicultural Education, Multicultural Perspectives, The International Journal of Critical Pedagogy, and Journal of Excellence in teaching, Journal of Social Studies Research and Practice, Journal of Interactive Online Learning, Social Education, Social Studies and the Young Learner, among others. Dr. Ukpokodu has also received several awards including the 2011 National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) Equity & Social Justice Advocacy Award, the 2018 National Society of the Phi Delta Kappa, Outstanding Educator Service Award, among others. She is the founder and president of the International Association of African Educators (IAAE).

Research Areas

Quality teacher education; Critical multicultural education; Transformative learning and pedagogy; Culturally responsive pedagogy; Urban education; Ubuntu pedagogy, Equity and social justice education; Social studies/citizenship education; Global education; and African immigrant education


Ph.D., Curriculum and Instruction, University of Kansas

Advising Interests

Mentoring aspiring future faculty and scholars, including diaspora and continental African scholars



Ukpokodu, O. N. & Ojiambo, P.O. (2017). Erasing invisibility, inequities, and social injustice of African immigrants in the diaspora and the continent. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Ukpokodu, O. N. (2016). You can’t teach us if you don’t know us: Becoming an Ubuntu, responsive and responsible urban teacher. New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

Ukpokodu, O. N. & Ukpokodu, P. I. (2012). Contemporary voices from the margin: African educators on African and American education. Charlotte, North Carolina: Information Age Publishing.

Articles and Book Chapters

Ukpokodu, O. N. (2016). Realizing transformative learning and social justice education: Unpacking teacher education practice. In S. Tomlinson-Clarke & D. Clarke (Eds.), Social justice and transformative learning: Culture & identity in the United States and South Africa (pp. 113-142). New York: Routledge.

Ukpokodu, O.N. (2017). African immigrants, the “new model minority”: Examining the reality in U.S. k-12 schools. The Urban Review, 50 (1), 69-96.

Ukpokodu, O. N. (2016). Faculty teaching perspectives about an urban-focused teacher education program. Journal of Urban Learning, Teaching and Research, 13, 161-173.

Waddell, J. & Ukpokodu, O.N. (2012). Recruiting and preparing diverse urban teachers: One urban-focused teacher education program breaks new ground. Multicultural Education, 20 (1), 15-22.

Ukpokodu, O.N. (2012). The community teacher. Perspectives of African-born teachers. Journal of Urban learning, Teaching and Research, 2012 Yearbook, 41-49.

Ukpokodu, O.N. (2011). How do I teach mathematics in a culturally responsive way? Identifying empowering teaching practices. Multicultural Education, 18 (3): 47-56.

Ukpokodu, O. N (2011) Developing teachers’ cultural competence: One teacher  educator’s practice of unpacking student culturelessness. In N. P. Gallavan and C.J. Craig (Eds.), Valuing diversity that is natural, authentic, and holistic: Cultural competence in P-12 Classrooms and Higher Education (432-454).

Ukpokodu, O.N. (2010). Preparing teachers for global perspective pedagogy. In B. Subedi (Ed.), Critical global perspectives: Rethinking curricular knowledge on global societies (pp.121-142). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing. (Cited by 36).

Ukpokodu, O.N. (2010, Fall). Imperatives for social justice in teacher education. Teacher Education & Practice, 23 (4): 488-491.

Ukpokodu, O. N. (2010, winter). How a sustainable campus-wide diversity curriculum fosters academic success.  Multicultural Education, 17 (2): 27-36.

Ukpokodu, O. N. (2010, December).  Engagement in social justice and institutional change: Promises and paradoxes. International Journal of Critical Pedagogy, 3 (2), 104-126.

Ukpokodu, O. N. (2009 Fall). Pedagogies that foster transformative learning in a multicultural education course: A reflection. Journal of Praxis in Multicultural Education, 4 (1): 49-64.