Borrowing from the ideas of John Dewey, schools and classrooms are a reflection of the world; therefore, in order to make sense of the urban classroom, we need to make sense of the world. In this book, the editors have compiled a collection of nine critical essays, or chapters, each examining a particular contemporary national and/or international event. The essays each undertake an explicit approach to naming oppression and addressing it in the context of urban schooling. Each essay has a two-fold purpose. The first purpose is to help readers see the world unveiled, through a more critical lens, and to problematize long held beliefs about urban classrooms, with regard to race, gender, social class, equity, and access. Second, as each author draws parallels between an event and urban classrooms, a better understanding of the microstructures that exist in urban classrooms emerges.
“At a time of serious political, economic, and social uncertainty, we need a book like this, one that showcases how the world can be seen as a critical site of curriculum and pedagogy. A powerful intersectional analysis of the world, word, and urban sociopolitical context, authors in this book push the boundaries of what educators know and do in urban schools and classrooms. Grounded in frameworks of critical race theory and culturally relevant pedagogy, authors center essential societal moments that must be viewed as the
real curriculum. These moments can equip students with tools to examine ‘the what of the world’ as well as how to examine, critique, challenge, and disrupt individual, systemic, and structural realities and practices that perpetuate and maintain a racist, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic status quo. This is an important, forward-thinking, innovative book—a welcome addition to the field of urban education.”—
H. Richard Milner IV, Helen Faison Chair of Urban Education, University of Pittsburgh