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Radio: Schooling for Critical Consciousness, with Dr. Scott Seider and Dr. Daren Graves

Image of man with classes and cap. He has his chin and head propped up by his left hand. Circle with words political encounters and encuentros políticos written inside the circle. name edwin mayorga, ph.d. and USALAmedia logoTune in to Encuentros Políticos/Political Encounters, Tuesdays at 4p EST & Sundays at 5p EST on

Episode Description

In the context of COVID19 & social insurrection there are so many questions right now around educators can best care for and support Black and Latinx youth, and work alongside them in understanding the racial and social injustices they are facing and how to develop strategies to transform these conditions. To discuss this wide range of topics I am pleased to have Dr. Scott Seider and Dr. Daren Graves, authors of the recently published book Schooling for Critical Consciousness (Harvard Education Press) , on the next Political Encounters/Encuentros Políticos.

Download this episode from Spreaker:

Book Description

From Harvard Education Press

book cover with title and image of Black adolescent studentsSchooling for Critical Consciousness addresses how schools can help Black and Latinx youth resist the negative effects of racial injustice and challenge its root causes. Scott Seider and Daren Graves draw on a four-year longitudinal study examining how five different mission-driven urban high schools foster critical consciousness among their students. The book presents vivid portraits of the schools as they implement various programs and practices, and traces the impact of these approaches on the students themselves.

The authors make a unique contribution to the existing scholarship on critical consciousness and culturally responsive teaching by comparing the roles of different schooling models in fostering various dimensions of critical consciousness and identifying specific programming and practices that contributed to this work. Through their research with more than 300 hundred students of color, Seider and Graves aim to help educators strengthen their capacity to support young people in learning to analyze, navigate, and challenge racial injustice.

Schooling for Critical Consciousness provides school leaders and educators with specific programming and practices they can incorporate into their own school contexts to support the critical consciousness development of the youth they serve.


Headshot of white man with no facial hair

Provided by Scott Seider

Dr. Scott Seider is an associate professor of applied developmental and educational psychology at Boston College. His research focuses on the role of schools in supporting adolescents’ civic development, and he has reported on this work in more than 70 academic publications including Schooling for Critical Consciousness: Engaging Black and Latinx Youth in Analyzing, Navigating, and Challenging Racial Injustice (Harvard Education Press, 2020). Prior to joining the Boston College faculty, Dr. Seider worked as a teacher-educator at Boston University and as an English teacher in the Boston Public Schools and Westwood Public Schools. He serves on advisory boards for a number of youth-serving organizations including EL (Expeditionary Learning) Education, the Center for Parent & Teen Communication, and the Journal of Adolescent Research.


Headshot of Black man with glasses and a beard

Provided by Daren Graves

Dr. Daren Graves is an Associate Professor of Education and Social Work at Simmons University and Adjunct Lecturer of Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education. His research lies at the intersection of critical race theory, racial identity development, and teacher education. Dr. Graves has reported on his work in a variety of publications including Schooling for Critical Consciousness: Engaging Black and Latinx Youth in Analyzing, Navigating, and Challenging Racial Injustice (Harvard Education Press, 2020). He also co-teaches Critical Race Theory in Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. Graves serves as co-Chair of the AERA Hip Hop Theories, Praxis & Pedagogies Special Interest Group.


Sun 11.16.14: José Luis Vilson – This is Not a Test: #TeacherLives Speaker @Swarthmore

José Luis Vilson, courtesy of @theJLV

José Luis Vilson, courtesy of @theJLV

Free and Open to Public

#TeacherLives Speaker Series

José Luis Vilson: This is Not a Test

Sunday, November 16th

4:00 – 5:00p: Book Talk, Q & A

5:00- 6:00p: Light Food and Refreshments

Scheuer Room, Kohlberg Hall, Swarthmore College

In his book This Is Not a Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, José Vilson writes about race, class, and education through stories from the classroom and researched essays. In this talk he will describe his rise from rookie math teacher to prominent teacher leader which takes a twist when he takes on education reform through his now-blocked eponymous blog, He calls for the reclaiming of the education profession while seeking social justice.

José Luis Vilson is a math educator for a middle school in the Inwood / Washington Heights neighborhood of New York, NY. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Syracuse University and a master’s degree in mathematics education from the City College of New York. He is also a committed writer, activist, web designer, and father.

Follow on Twitter: #TeacherLives

For questions about the series please contact Edwin Mayorga or @eimayorga



Educational Studies, Sociology & Anthropology, Latin American Studies & The Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility (all at Swarthmore College)

Reviews of This is Not a Test

Through the book runs references to rap music, to Hip-Hop, to other cultural references that flow naturally among those a generation far younger than mine and in a culture that is not mine. And yet, of course, it works for Vilson, because it is his generation and his culture. These references help to illustrate one of his central themes: that teachers must be able to identify with their students to understand them, to get below their surface, to make connections beyond academics, in order to reach them and teach them. He cares deeply what his students think and feel.

Diane Ravitch (read review)


Perhaps our task as readers and critics can be to see how certain stories might reclaim or decolonize these older genres, how they highlight the power dynamics and the cultural values we don’t often recognize or confront, and how they prompt us to consider not just whose stories get told but how these stories get told.

José Vilson’s soon-to-be-published book This Is Not a Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education does just that.

Audrey Watters, Hack Education blog (read review)


But if Vilson has a primary thesis, it’s to be found in the quote above: the “teacher voice” is sorely lacking in our conversations today about education and its role in the perpetual problems of race and class that dog our society.

Jersey Jazzman blog (read review)

Tonight (11/6) Precious Knowledge Screening + Convo with Curtis Acosta


Free and Open to the Public

Screening of Precious Knowledge and Conversation with MAS teacher, Curtis Acosta

November 6, 5:30 pm.

Swarthmore College

Kohlberg Hall, Scheuer Room.

Precious Knowledge portrays one of the final years of the highly successful but controversial Mexican American Studies (MAS) Program at Tucson High School. The program was a national model of educational success—93% of its enrolled students graduated from high school and 85% went on to attend college, bucking a statewide trend that saw only 48% of Latino students graduating at all. The program taught Mexican and American history, as well as Central and South American literature and culture. But the political tide shifted in Arizona in the 2000s, and in the midst of controversial state-level immigration reform lawmakers turned their attention to Tucson High’s ethnic studies program, and MAS in particular. Opponents of the program launched a campaign to convince the public that ethnic studies teach everything from communism to terrorism to “reverse racism.” The film follows some of the students and educators who fought to save their program and to provide Ethnic Studies for everyone.

The movie screening will be followed with a Q&A (via Skype) with Tucson MAS teacher Curtis Acosta* and a discussion of Ethnic Studies here at Swarthmore.

Food provided by Taqueria Michoacana (Norristown)

Sponsored by ENLACE,  Educational Studies, Film and Media Studies, and Latin American Studies.

For more information contact Edwin Mayorga,

Follow: #TeacherLives and #SaveEthnicStudies


*CurtisAcosta was a high school teacher for nearly 20 years in Tucson, where he developed and taught Chican@/Latin@ Literature classes for the renowned Mexican American Studies program in the Tucson Unified School District.In response to the elimination of Mexican American Studies in Tucson, Curtis created the Chican@ Literature, Art and Social Studies (CLASS) program where high school students receive free college credit through a partnership with Prescott College. He is also the founder of the Acosta Latino Learning Partnership; an educational consultation firm committed to help educators create empowering and engaging pedagogical practices in their classrooms and schools, along with being a founding member of the newly established Xican@ Institute for Teaching and Organizing (XITO). XITO is a sponsored program through Prescott College that strives to support the Xican@/Latin@ community through teacher preparation, social justice pedagogy, and community organizing.


In Lak’ech

Luís Valdez

Tú eres mi otro yo.
You are my other me.
Si te hago daño a ti,
If I do harm to you,
Me hago daño a mi mismo.
I do harm to myself.
Si te amo y respeto,
If I love and respect you,
Me amo y respeto yo.
I love and respect myself.

From the poem Pensamiento Serpentino por Luis Valdez

For more go to:’ech-you-are-my-other


precious knowledge poster

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