The moral universe won’t budge unless we move it

By Jim Knight
June 2021
“The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” —Martin Luther King Jr. Do you agree with King’s often-quoted statement? In light of the heartbreaking and racist events I see in the news almost daily, I can’t say I’m sure. What I do believe, however, is that the moral universe will not budge unless people act in ways that move it toward justice — people like you and me, people like instructional coaches. As change leaders, instructional coaches are perfectly positioned to move their organizations forward. Coaches, like everyone in our educational organizations, can and should analyze their schools for evidence of structural racism and then fight for change until the system changes. Coaches can raise awareness of prejudice by first

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Eberhardt, J.L. (2019). Biased: Uncovering the hidden prejudice that shapes what we see, think, and do. Viking.

Kendi, I.X. (2019). How to be an antiracist. Penguin Random House.

Knight, J. (2013). High-impact instruction: A framework for great teaching. Corwin Press.

Portman, J., Bui, T.T., Ogaz, J., & Treviño, J. (n.d.). Microagressions in the classroom. University of Denver Center for Multicultural Excellence.

Project Implicit. (2011). Implicit associations test.

Sue, D.W. (2010). Microaggressions in everyday life: Race, gender, and sexual orientation. John Wiley and Sons.

Coming in August: Jim Knight will explore how the inside-out approach, described in the February issue, applies to schoolwide change.

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Jim Knight ( is a senior partner at the Instructional Coaching Group and a senior research associate at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning.

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