Educational justice. democratic pedagogy. humanizing schools.
How can educators, students, and communities work together to make a humanizing and democratic education a reality for all students?
- How do teachers enact justice-oriented pedagogies, and how do youth experience them?
- How do we most effectively prepare teachers to enact democratic, humanizing, and justice-oriented pedagogies?
- How does the social context of schools contribute to or detract from this work?
Answering these questions is of urgent and material concern to schools -- especially urban schools, where policy and practice is too often built on dehumanizing and paternalizing practices aimed at controlling vulnerable students. In Milwaukee specifically, which is where I am based, working for a just and humanizing education is a life-or-death matter for too many of Milwaukee's students. In 2014, the Annie E. Casey Foundation found Wisconsin to be the worst state in which to raise Black children, and Wisconsin/Milwaukee are near the top of many lists of the 'worst' in the United States: incarceration rates for Black men, racial achievement gaps, high school drop-out rates, poverty rates, racial and economic segregation, and gun violence and homicides. Given this context, I aim for my research to illustrate how educators, communities, and students can work together to make a more humanizing education a reality, with such an education ultimately becoming a catalyst for broader social change.