Education, Events — November 19, 2014 at 9:35 am

EVENT: TOMORROW Wayne State University hosts talk on “Understanding the Complexities of Teaching and Learning in Urban Settings”


Tomorrow night, the Leonard Kaplan Education Collaborative for Critical Urban Studies will host its innaugural event, a presentation by Dr. David E. Kirkland titled “The Practice of Freedom – Understanding the Complexities of Teaching and Learning in Urban Settings”.

The Leonard Kaplan Education Collaborative is a newly-formed group and is headed up by the amazing Friend of the Blog Dr. Thomas Pedroni, Associate Professor for Curriculum Studies at Wayne State University. The Collaborative was founded in September 2014 to honor the lifework and vision of Leonard Kaplan, an uncompromising advocate for the social and affective well-being of the “whole child” in America’s schools.

The Kaplan Collaborative will carry forward his legacy by producing high-quality and interdisciplinary locally relevant research for community organizations, educational stakeholders, regional education reporters, educational policy makers and peer-reviewed journals. A founding principle of the Kaplan Collaborative is our belief that university faculty have a responsibility, as public servants, to enrich public dialogue in support of the public good.

Here is a description of their exciting innaugural event:

This presentation is based on over a decade of research aimed at understanding the complexities of teaching and learning in urban settings. The goal of the presentation is to raise awareness of the effects of educational injustices in the lives of urban youth in order to interrupt cycles of miseducation. Focusing on the (mis)education of Black males, the presentation addresses the following questions: How do cycles of inequity influence how, why, and what urban youth learn (and do not/refuse to learn)? How might critical educators disrupt such cycles to empower urban youth to transform their own communities, lives, and educational destinies? In addressing these questions, the presentation aims to examine, perhaps more holistically, the peculiar deficit politics of urban education, exploring instead the power of the spoken and written word, as it constructs and deconstructs opportunities for learning and liberation. In closing, the presentation will suggest that, from a liberatory perspective, urban youth take on new meanings beginning with a voice and a verb, where youth– when affirmed, valued, and respected– have the power to transform the world inside-out.

David E. Kirkland is a bestselling author, activist, cultural critic, educator, researcher, and thinker. He is also an associate professor of English and urban education at New York University. Dr. Kirkland is a Detroit native, and earned his PhD from Michigan State University and a JD from the University of Michigan. His transdisciplinary scholarship examines the intersections among language, race, gender, and urban youth culture through the critical lens of literacy. His work has explored, among other things, the politics of race and urban education, and the sociopolitical work of Hip Hop texts/culture in advancing revolutionary justice in non-mainstream sites of teaching and learning. He has spent the past 15 years analyzing the cultures, languages, and texts of groups of urban American youth, and has expertise in critical literary, linguistic, and ethnographic research methods. A Search Past Silence: The Literacy of Black Males, the fifth book that Dr. Kirkland has authored, co-authored, edited, or co-edited is a TC Press bestseller and winner of the 2014 AESA Critics Choice Award and 2014 NCTE David H. Russell Award for Distinguished Research in the Teaching of English. He is also co-editor of the newly released Students Right to Their Own Language, a critical sourcebook published by Bedford/St. Martins Press.

The event is TOMORROW, Thursday, November 20th and runs from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the McGregor Memorial Conference Center, 495 Gilmour Mall, on the campus of WSU. After Dr. Kirkland’s talk, there will be brief responses from a remarkable panel of outspoken Detroit education advocates:

  • Helen Moore, Keep the Vote No Takeover
  • Michelle Fecteau, State Board of Education
  • Kamau Kheperu, Detroit Life Coalition
  • Ellen Cogen Lipton, House Education Committee
  • Sandra Gonzales, Bilingual and Bicultural Education, Wayne State University
  • Coleman Ward, Senior Class, Detroit School of Arts

Hors d’oeuvres and light refreshments will be served. RSVPs are welcomed by not required. To RSVP, please click HERE and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Complimentary parking is available in Lot 31 on West Ferry Avenue just off Anthony Wayne Drive. Please let the guard on duty know that you are attending the Kaplan Collaborative/David Kirkland event in the McGregor Memorial Conference Center.

Here’s a preview of what you’re in store for when Dr. Kirkland makes his presentation: