Discussion with Question & Answer Session
At 1199C Hospital Workers Union
1319 Locust Street, Philadelphia
Moonstone Arts Center
"the allure of teaching, that ineffable magic drawing me back to the classroom again and again, issues from an ideal that lies directly at its heart: Teaching, at its best, is an enterprise that helps human beings reach the full measure of their humanity… Committed and aware teachers must endeavor to accomplish two crucial tasks. One is to convince students . . . that there is no such thing as receiving an education as a passive receptor or an inert vessel - in that direction lies nothing but subservience, indoctrination, and worse. All real education is and must always be self-education. The second task is to demonstrate to students . . . that they are valued, that their humanity is honored, and that their growth, enlightenment, and liberation are the paramount concern. We take the side of the student. . . ."
Our panel consists of:
William Ayers, Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago (retired), member of the executive committee of the Faculty Senate and founder of both the Small Schools Workshop and the Center for Youth and Society. His books include Teaching toward Freedom: Moral Commitment and Ethical Action in the Classroom, Teaching Toward Democracy: Educators as Agents of Change and To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher which was named Book of the Year in 1993 by Kappa Delta Pi, and won the Witten Award for Distinguished Work in Biography and Autobiography in 1995.
Shira Cohen is an Educator, Organizer, and Historian in Philadelphia. She has been a teacher in classrooms and non-traditional settings for transformative thinking, project-based learning, and social engagement in public schools, religious and cultural settings, museums, and after-school/summer programs in the Philadelphia area. She is also involved in teacher organizing and growth through the Teacher Action Group, Philadelphia Writing Project, and Outward Bound.
Jacqueline J. Wiggins has over forty years of experience in education, having taught at the elementary, secondary, and college levels in public, charter, and parochial schools. She has worked in school administration focusing on student services to include discipline, test administration, and high school placement, has taught and served as a School Based Teacher Leader and Instructional Specialist for the School District of Philadelphia at the high school level, providing Professional Development to teachers and serves as an adjunct faculty member of the English department at the Community College of Philadelphia.
Dana King works in culturally relevant pedagogy as a tool for curriculum development and education reform and trained teachers and participated in academic panels throughout the United States, Bahia, Brazil, St. Croix, Virgin Islands, and Egypt, Africa. “Great educators understand that students not only require a knowledge of culture, but a knowledge of their own identity and culture as a prerequisite for content mastery. Excellent curriculum provides a framework that lays the foundation for culturally relevant and academically rigorous educational experiences for all children.”