Bill Bigelow, renowned curriculum editor of Rethinking Schools magazine and co-director of the Zinn Education Project, will join writer Mark Nowak, founding director of the Worker Writers School and Professor of English at Manhattanville College, in a public conversation about critical pedagogy in the classroom. Using Nowak’s book Coal Mountain Elementary, which Howard Zinn called “a stunning educational tool,” Bigelow and Nowak will discuss how documentary poetry and classroom pedagogy can help us to think creatively about interdisciplinary methods in which educators, students, and families interact in the classroom.
The hope is to motivate us to re-make remote and in-person classrooms as spaces in which healing and teacher creativity are reignited and curricula engage the critical pedagogy that poor and working poor black, brown, and rural white students need to understand and be agents in changing the social conditions of their lives.
For over 30 years in Oregon, social studies teacher Bigelow has long shown us how to use the classroom at the level of the public as a space of powerful social critique and change. He has demonstrated how to use classroom “curriculum and instruction” to intellectually, socially, and emotionally empower young people and build their academic skills to engage with intention and great purpose in their lives as young people and, later, adults.
Nowak has been awarded the Guggenheim, Lannan, and Creative Capital awards for his global documentary work in South Africa, Europe, the US, and the Panamá. His newest book, Social Poetics, documents a people’s history of the poetry workshop from the Watts and Attica uprisings to domestic workers, taxi drivers, and street vendors in the Worker Writers School.
Join us to be reminded by Bigelow and Nowak of what education can be in person and remote.
Moderated by MCLA education undergraduate, Abigail Berry, and Lisa Arrastia, PhD.