AREA 3. Urban education
My most practical work applies directly to critical pedagogy and teaching practices in urban classrooms. I have chosen to write and publish these in venues that are more accessible to teachers. “Discipline or Punish? Some suggestions for teacher practice and policy,” is used extensively by different school communities throughout the United States. Although not a research article, my 2009 commencement address at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education, “Teacher as Warrior-Scholar”, is widely circulated among different teacher networks. My article, “Mathematics, critical literacy, and youth participatory action research” reflects some of my work among the radical math education community.
Most of my public intellectual work lies in critical pedagogy, school discipline, mathematics, and community organizing. I have given keynote lectures and workshops to educators in the Tucson Unified School District (hosted by the now outlawed TUSD Ethnic Studies K-12 program), to all principals of the Austin Unified School District, to the counseling staff of San Francisco Unified School District, to the Association for Raza Educators in Los Angeles, and in Aoteroa/New Zealand to Maori students, educators, parents, and school principals. My most requested lectures are those that focus on school discipline, culturally relevant mathematics and science, and youth participatory action research.
My future work in this area includes an anthology, The Urban Pedagogy Reader, with co-editors Ernest Morrell and Jeffrey Duncan-Andrade.
My main interests in urban education hinge upon re-envisioning social justice through a decolonizing framework. These interests are driven by my own experience as a high school teacher of 17 years, the co-founder of East Oakland Community High School, co-founder of The Avenues Project youth development non-profit organization, and as a member of the Oakland Unified School District’s Superintendent’s cabinet during the state takeover of the school district.