We speak with Dr. Kiersten Greene, Associate Professor of Literacy Education at SUNY New Paltz, about classroom internet use. Electronic tech’s transformational possibilities can go unfulfilled as schools buy and use tools and materials without evaluating whether they are effective or meet teachers’ needs. Huge funding sources like New York’s Smart Schools bond issue fund purchases but not professional development. Often hailed as a great equalizer, technology can reinforce economic and racial inequality while opening the door to corporatization and intensive social control.
We speak with Dr. Ujju Aggarwal, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Experiential Learning at the New School’s Schools of Public Engagement. Dr. Aggarwal explains how neoliberalism, with its emphasis on individual choice, includes a “right to exclude” and perpetuates discriminatory school admissions, not only to some charter schools but also to district schools and programs, describing in particular the experiences of parents in Manhattan’s District 3. Dr. Aggarwal also discusses the participatory action research model, combining data collection and community organizing, which she has helped to develop.
During the interview, Ujju refers to:
- Adina Back (2003). Exposing the “whole segregation myth”: The Harlem Nine and New York City’s school desegregation battles.” In J. Theoharis & K. Woodard (Eds.), Freedom north: Black freedom struggles outside the South, 1940–1980. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Donna Nevel and PARCEO
Norman Fruchter on the pioneering alternative high school he and colleagues built in Newark in the 1970s
We speak with Norm Fruchter, long-time educational activist and thought leader, about Independence School, an experimental high school where the ideal was that someone walking into a classroom couldn’t tell the teacher from the students. We discuss lessons learned – and perhaps forgotten – about supporting students whose original schools failed them. Among the school’s strengths were authentic, enduring relationships among teachers and students, teaching strategies that enabled illiterate students to learn to read without embarrassment, month-long internship breaks, and curriculum that referenced students’ life experiences.
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash
Jason Warwin on The Brotherhood/Sister Sol: building strong Black and Latinx youth leaders for social change
Jason Warwin is the Co-Founder and Associate Executive Director of The Brotherhood/Sister Sol, an organization that provides comprehensive, holistic and long-term support services to youth who range in age from eight to twenty-two. Located in Harlem (NYC), Bro/Sis also has programs dedicated to developing Black and Latinx youth in Africa, Latin America and The Caribbean. Jason is a specialist in the design of transformative experiences and we talked about how the Bro/Sis model leads young people to ethical leadership and educational achievement, and makes them an essential part of a solid community that has been fighting oppression for almost 25 years.
Stephanie Carnes on Post-traumatic Growth and Resilience: cultural competence and creating safe environments for Central American immigrant children in today’s U.S.
We talk with Stephanie Carnes, a trauma-focused bilingual school social worker in a large public high school in New York’s Hudson Valley. Stephanie worked as the lead clinician in a federally-funded shelter program for unaccompanied children from Central America and as a consultant she challenges the districts and agencies with whom she works to re-envision the meaning of an inclusive community. We talk about the necessity to normalize mental health care, how to create safe environments for immigrant children in American schools, and the power of their resilience.
We talk with MacArthur “genius” award winner Deborah Meier, a founder of the small schools movement, about what makes a good school. She talks about how to build and maintain trust and mutual respect among students, teachers, and families.
Ethical Schools is an an initiative of Ethics In Education Network ®, which offers customized professional development programs for administrators, teachers, and youth workers who wish to prioritize ethics. Please contact us to schedule a free (no pressure) consultation and site visit.