RF 2014 Program Abstracts

[Listing by Session Type: Keynote, Dialogues, Performances, Panels, Papers]

KEYNOTE (Adam Renner Memorial Lecture)
Saving the Future
David Barsamian, Alternative Radio

Celebrating Pete Seeger
Doug Morris
Aperformance of songs by and songs associated with Pete Seeger crucially geared to create opportunities for collective singing, plus commentary on Pete’s contributions and lessons to be learned from Pete’s lifelong commitments as a radical public educator in and for social struggle.

Sex, Death and Other Deviations from the Common Core
William R. Boyer, Detroit, MI
Notable performance artist, playwright and high school teacher, William R. Boyer, explores the absurdity of regimented curricula, standardized testing and other authoritarian, top-down models of perpetual inequality from the front lines of teaching on the edge of bankrupt Detroit. His 20 minute monologue encourages post-performance dialogue on correcting these paramount perversions.

Changing minds: Teachers’ Perspectives Towards Issues of Diversity and Power
Kelli Woodrow, Regis University
In a course designed to develop teachers as change agents, beginning teachers report personal transformation yet, they are unable to critique larger systems of power. This collaborative dialogue will focus on developing whitestream preservice teachers’ praxis around P-12 students’ experiences within the larger historical, social and political contexts.

Equity not Equality
Briana Ryans, Clemson University
This dialogue will begin with the activity, “The Right Shoe”. Participants will be asked to give the shoe size of their right shoe. After all of the shoe sizes are collected, they will be redistributed amongst the participants. Some participants might receive a size too big, too small, or just right. Participants will then be asked how they feel in their new shoe size. Once feelings concerning the shoe sizes are shared, participants will then dialogue about the correlation that the activity has to equity and equality. A further correlation will be made to how individuals are taught and how methodologies can be approved upon.

Resistance Through Language
Paula Meyer
How do public-school-based linguistic genocide and the commodification of language relate to each other and to the questions proposed in the RF 2014 CFP? How do we use language to build and rebuild community in order to resist the increasing economic inequality and control found in our internal colonies?

Angels for AP Excellence: Increasing Students of Color Enrollment and Success in AP Classes
Kate Greeley, Denver Public Schools
Amanda West, Denver Public Schools
Nathan Merenstein, Denver Public Schools
Niesha Smith, Denver Public Schools
Joey Halik, Denver Public Schools
Ray Pryor, Denver Public Schools
Janae Brown, Denver Public Schools
Rheadawn Chiles, Denver Public Schools
Christine Miller, Denver Public Schools
Participants will consider various barriers that impact the access and success of students of color in AP courses as demonstrated through the case example from East High School.• Participants will learn to develop a student-driven program aimed to increase accessibility and success for students of color in AP courses though the case example from East High School.

Engaging Foucault: Rethinking Our Questions
David Gabbard, Boise State University
Angela Crawford, Boise State University
Marilena “Lenny” Martello, Boise State University
Kelli Kinkela, Boise State University
Sarah Ritter, Boise State University
Mike Boyer, Boise State University
Jennie Moyett, Boise State University
Gregory Martinez, Boise State University
YuWen Chen, Boise State University
During the spring semester of 2014, we conducted a doctoral seminar on “Michel Foucault and the Origins of Compulsory Schooling.” We interrogated Foucault and allowed him to interrogate us. This panel offers these doctoral students a chance to report out on what they gained from their encounter with Foucault, and how his writings impacted the questions they will be taking into their comprehensive exams and dissertations.

Mapping Knowledge Wealth and Resources in Diverse School Communities
Kelli Woodrow, Regis University
Todd Bell, Regis University
Melanie Bruce, Regis University
Cathi Brents, Regis University
Shana Mondaragon, Regis University
Graduate Faculty and Teacher education students discuss an asset based, community mapping project founded in the principles of “funds of knowledge.” Graduate students will present their findings on the knowledge wealth and resources that they uncovered and the impact of this project on their values, beliefs and future practices.

Transformative Social Studies Teaching and Learning
Abraham DeLeon, University of Texas, San Antonio
Four Arrows, Fielding Graduate University
C. Gregg Jorgensen, Western Illinois University
Curry Stephenson Malott, West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Greg Queen, Detroit, MI
E. Wayne Ross, University of British Columbia
Doug Selwyn, SUNY Plattsburgh
Despite the interdisciplinary nature the field and a historical commitment to investigating fundamental social issues such as democracy and human rights, social studies education remains steeped in a reproductive framework. This panel will explore ways in which social studies in schools can be remade into a space transformative teaching and learning.

Nancye McCrary, St. Catharine College
Casey Baryla, St. Catharine College
Rebecca Just, St. Catharine College
Rebekah Sams, St. Catharine College
Lauren Johnston (Panel Chair), St. Catharine College
Amanda Conrad, St. Catharine College

After exploring the works of Arundati Roy, bell hooks, Maya Angelou, Hanna Arendt, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, five undergraduate students found common themes that speak to their own lives and struggles as college students. Most important is finding voice and learning hear the voices of others. These honors students developed a panel presentation that explicates ideas, contexts, and perspectives of contemporary women thinkers, including a writer, scholar, poet, novelist, and philosopher, all of whom are activists engaged in working for a greater good. Their ideas articulated in film, scholarly writing, fiction, poetry and prose converge on dialogic voices, both internal and public, that indeed have the power to change the world. The panelists include five honors students preparing to change the world through writing, one as a veterinarian, one as a physician, and two as elementary and middle level public school teachers. These young women will discuss the intersections of their own lived experiences with the ideas of Roy, hooks, Angelou, Arendt, and Adichie. Their panel includes poetry and multimedia, as well as speaking. It offers and opportunity for participants to hear the voices of young college students as they make sense of their worlds through the perspectives of contemporary women thinkers. This panel will include and open conversation among presenters and participants aimed at deeper understanding of perspectives across age, gender, geographic contexts and education.


Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and Torture as an Aside: Professionalism, Civility, and Silencing of the Professoriate
Joe Wegwert, Northern Arizona University
This paper explores the anti-intellectual and anti-democratic context of an emergent neoliberal “semi-public” university as it confronts student and faculty generated resistance to the potential interview/hiring of a controversial Deanship candidate.

Art, Alienation, and Resistance in the Classroom
Chris Steele, Regis University
A presentation about how to combat alienation in the classroom by utilizing art to teach resistance. Synthesizing philosophies from Noam Chomsky, Henry Giroux, Paulo Friere, and Jacques Rancière, this presentation explores ways to combat neoliberalism in institutions.

Changing the Conversation: Exploring the Role of Education in Raising Healthy Children
Doug Selwyn, SUNY Plattsburgh
Education does not, and should not exist in a bubble, as an end in itself. This workshop will re situate education within the larger context of raising healthy children. How can education connect with other community and societal resources to raise children who are healthy, in the broadest sense of that word. I will share research and facilitate a conversation about this topic.

Class as the Organizing Principle of History Education
Greg Queen, Detroit, MI
History education creates opportunities to unveil the oppressive structure and the social relations that create and enforce inequality. In this presentation, I will share with participants my theory and practice in organizing curriculum around issues of social class for a high school world history course.

Coming to Critical Pedagogy: A Marxist Autobiography in the History of Higher Education
Curry Stephenson Malott, West Chester University of Pennsylvania
In this presentation Malott traces his journey to critical pedagogy focusing on a significant element of his family’s ethnic and class background and its connection to his own educational experiences from public schooling to university. Drawing on Marx’s historical discussions at the end of Volume 1 of Capital Malott traces his own English/Irish/German background to the transition from feudalism to capitalism in Europe and how that process was connected to the American colonies and the emergence of capitalism in what would become the United States of America. Malott argues that this historical discussion both helps better understand the current neoliberal era of perpetual budget cuts and austerity measures, and the true class position of most workers who wrongly self-identify as middle-class. In the end, this autobiography is intended to advance a proletarian class-consciousness and the movement to transcend capital it demands.

Destabilizing Post-secondary Education for Profit
Yvette Powe
This proposal scrutinizes post-secondary proprietary institutions and its leadership mental model wherein there is structural infringement on students’ right(s) to education. Infringement occurs (1) within the maladaptive decision-making process of educational leadership(s), (2) when bureaucracies and practices are structured to grossly indebt students, (3) whilst pity and contempt exhibited towards the student body is reproduced in patterns relating to how students are served or disserved, and (4) when socialization or reconditioning equates to humiliation and/or criminalization.

Distance Makes the Heart Grow Stronger: The Legacy of 9/11
Martin Haber
As the students we teach are ever younger than we are, the memory, meaning and memorialization of the events of “9/11” grow more distant, more remote, more unfathomable. Using Facing History and Ourselves’ approach, I want to discuss how and if memorials serve public memory, what communities remember, and how – as educators-to approach, and learn from, 9/11, for the future’s sake.

Faculty Unites with Student Activists to Redesign Education Policy
C. Gregg Jorgensen, Western Illinois University
The interplay between the administration at the Ohio State University, the university’s Board of Trustees, faculty members such as Hullfish and other nationally known scholars, the media, the public at large, students, and the courts in response to the “speaker rule,” provides a fascinating exchange of ideas and ideals related to teaching and learning and who has the right to control the curriculum.

Hacking Away at Pearson and the Education-Foundation-Industrial Complex
Alan Singer, Hofstra University
In January 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower warned about the growing power of a “military-industrial complex,” an alliance of the military with defense contractors that he saw as a threat to democracy. Democracy in the United States is now under a similar assault from an Education-Foundation- Industrial Complex. This Complex takes many forms but its primary goal seems to be to shape state and federal educational policy in a way that maximizes private corporate profits at the expense of public education. One of its leaders is Pearson Education and the Pearson Foundation. Pearson is one of the largest and most aggressive private companies seeking to profit from what they and others euphemistically call educational reform through the sale of staff development, curriculum, texts, and substandard remedial education programs seamlessly aligned with the high stakes standardized tests for students and teacher assessments they are also selling. ​
[NOTE: Discussed having Singer presentation as a plenary session]

Hip-Hop as Revolutionary Pedagogy
Brad J. Porfilio, Lewis Univeristy
This presentation will detail the perspectives and experiences of participants in a grass-roots Indigenous hip-hop group called Beat Nation called. Study participants offer insights about how the world’s most dominant ideological doctrine–neoliberalism-is sapping the humanistic nature of education, perpetuating a maldistribution of wealth and power across the globe, and maintaining human suffering and environmental degradation. The authors also capture how the historical legacy of colonialism intersects with neoliberal capitalism to fuel Indigenous youths’ opposition to the current social order as well as spark their desire to formulate identities that disrupt hegemonic stereotypes associated with the Indigenous “Other.” Finally, the authors explore how the results of these qualitative inquiries can help educators re-imagine pedagogies for new generations and the youth cultures they are producing.

How do I get in? Teacher decision-making and the academic placement process
Philip Bernhardt, Metropolitan State University of Denver
While the marginalizing impact of academic tracking is well documented, few studies pay focus on the influence teachers have on students’ academic trajectories. Through a case study of three teachers, this paper examines the course recommendation process by drawing attention to the dynamics shaping how teachers recommend academic placement.

Imagining Ourselves in Children’s Literature: Power Dynamics and Epistemologies amid the Pages and in the Classroom
Mia Sosa-Provencio
This research investigates depictions of schooling within children’s literature toward understanding those ontologies and epistemologies maintained and perpetuated therein. Literature influences a collective social vision of the world; as such, educators and young people alike must be cognizant/critical of messages conveyed as they shape understandings of our own intellectual/social capacities.

Increasing Options for the Equality of Returning Veterans in the Classroom
Ashley O’Connor, University of Denver
As veterans return by the thousands from Iraq and Afghanistan and head into the classroom, practitioners and educational staff must be prepared to understand their specific needs in this environment and provide various supports. Issues of inequality veterans may face, and models, outcomes, lessons learned and recommendations will be covered.

Keeping the Techne in the Classroom: What Marcuse Can Tell Us About MOOCs and the Status of Higher Education
Tyler Suggs, Virginia Tech
Massive Open Online Courses (or MOOCs) are often praised for their accessibility and vilified for their perceived commodification. Given both considerations, what are the potentials for a pedagogy of liberation here? This presentation will examine both reactions to MOOCs, through the critical philosophy of Herbert Marcuse, with a particular emphasis on the role of the educator in the virtual and “traditional” classroom settings.

Narrow Focus Classroom Affection, Heightened Social Injustice, Perception of Nigerian Educators
Aladegbola Adebusayo
The researchers will select 100 educators from five educational organisations in Nigeria using random sampling technique. An instrument would be self designed to collect information from the respondents. Three hypotheses will be formulated and the appropriate statistical technique will be used in analysing the data collected. The hypotheses would be tested and suitable recommendation will be made after the findings.

The Neoliberal Agenda for Public Education: An Obituary
John Elmore, West Chester University of Pennsylvania
This presentation will examine the overarching theory and expansion of the neoliberal ideology that has been steadily infecting our social and political realties for the past 30 years. This examination will lay the groundwork to investigate the true goal of neoliberalism for public education in the 21st century, to end it. In order to demonstrate this mission, I will consider three case studies in neoliberal education reform (Pennsylvania; Douglas County, Colorado; and Chile). Each of these cases represents a distinct stage in the process of conversion from education as a shared public endeavour to a private market good.

Praxis: The Exclusion of Native American Teachers
Richard M. Jones
The essay discusses some of the more obvious shortcomings of using high stakes tests, especially the Praxis, for determining who becomes a teacher and for teacher licensure. It also points out the negative impact testing has on Native Americans because of test format and bias.

The Psychosis of Success
Mike Sliwa
Teaching high school in Arizona for 12 years left me with life lessons that I will never forget. I left the profession to pursue a life of greater self-sufficiency and empathy. My presentation will explore institutionalized injustice and how it breeds apathy inside our school systems only to manifest itself outside in the larger society.

Secret City Secret Scourge
Nancye McCrary, St. Catherine’s College
This presentation is a story of many stories, some personal and some official, all about the march toward empire and world domination at nearly inexplicable costs. The Manhattan Project changed everything, except, according to Einstein, the thinking of the people. That is why we tell and retell these stories, in hope of an awakening that has yet to come.

Teaching Counter-Narratives: Indigenous Peoples, History, and Critical Consciousness
Glenabah Martinez, University of New Mexico
Indigenous educators are faced with challenges to teaching counter-narratives of Indigenous history. I will address counter-narratives of Indigenous history that are not considered “core knowledge” in state curriculum. A focus of the presentation is a discussion of a high school curriculum designed to foster critical consciousness among Indigenous youth in New Mexico.

What Does Lesson Planning Have to do with Capitalism?
Kathryn Young, Metropolitan State University of Denver
This presentation will highlight different types of lesson planning templates and show how each template advances different underlying assumptions about students and their place in society. I will show how thinking about students before thinking about the lesson and the unit will lead to lessons and units that meet the needs of a greater variety of students thus changing the dynamic of “who is on top” at least at a micro level.

What Then Must We Do?
Doug Morris
“We start wherever we can” answers the question “where do we start revolutionary movements?” “Wherever” can emerge from Marx’s revolutionary spheres of activity (e.g. mental conceptions, technological innovations, labor relations, relations with nature, formal education, etc.), and creating activities in particular spheres that work dialectically in and through other spheres.

Why it is Possible and Imperative to Teach Revolution—and how!
Rich Gibson, San Diego State University
The core issue of our times is the rise of color-coded inequality and the real promise of perpetual war met by the potential of mass class-conscious resistance for the clarion call that has driven social movements for centuries: Equality!

“Push It Real Good!” The Challenge of Disrupting Dominant Discourses Regarding Race in Teacher Education
Madhavi Tandon & Kara M. Viesca, University of Colorado, Denver
Despite efforts to redesign an urban teacher education program for social justice and equity, faculty became aware of racialized issues teacher candidates of color faced in the program. Therefore, this study examined the perspectives of teacher candidates to learn about how race is impacting teaching and learning for pre-service teachers. Overall, we discovered the dominant narratives, often called majoritarian stories (Love, 2004), were extremely difficult to disrupt and essentially remained largely intact for teacher candidates in our program. In addition, we found that majoritarian stories helped to maintain a level of superficiality for teacher candidates regarding issues of race. For this reason, we argue that there is a need to “Push it real good!” using Critical Whiteness to engage in deeper level work with teacher candidates in order to help develop strong teacher activists with the skills, dispositions, and knowledge necessary to substantially disrupt the inequitable status quo in education.

Revealing Social Justice Issues through Music of the Civil Rights Era
C. Gregg Jorgensen, Western Illinois University
Concepts of social justice may sometimes seem difficult to present in the classroom.  What exactly is social justice and how it should be taught in the social studies classroom may not always seem clear to educators.  However, with the use of primary sources, issues of social justice can be tackled head on with the result of a successful teaching and learning experience.  One example of how social justice teaching can be achieved in the classroom is demonstrated through the use of live music.  This session will focus on the songs played in 1963 at the gathering of 250,000 citizens at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. before and after Martin Luther King’s now revered “I Have A Dream Speech.”  Each of the music selections will be preceded by relating the history and background of the 1963 event and more importantly the history and “back story” of each song as well as the performing artists.  Individually, each music selection has a definitive civil rights message that still resonates today.    Participants will be encouraged to join in and sing.


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