Few educators embody that mission more than this year's lecturer, Dr. Chris Emdin, recently honored by the White House as an African American STEM Champion of Change. Dr. Emdin's research focuses on issues of race, class, and diversity in urban science classrooms, and the use of new theoretical frameworks to transform education and urban school reform. A self-proclaimed member of the hip-hop generation, Emdin seeks to popularize the notion that the genius of hip-hop is compatible with science genius. In partnership with GZA (Gary Grice), a member of the Wu-Tang Clan whose love of science is well known, he developed the Science Genius B.A.T.T.L.E.S. In a pilot project, students wrote rap songs that captured the complexity of the science and lyricism of hip-hop, and, in a final competition at Columbia University, students’ performances of these rap songs were judged by a panel of scientists and hip hop artists.
A Simmons College / Beacon Press Lecture and Book Series
In the spring of 2006, Beacon Press and Simmons College inaugurated a lecture and book series that we hope will reinvigorate a crucial national public conversation on race, education, and democracy. Each year, the series will bring to Boston prominent public figures to deliver a series of lectures that will become the basis of a new trade book published by Beacon.
Frederick Douglass, who famously lectured in Boston around the time Beacon Press was founded, called education the “pathway from slavery to freedom.” This new series aims to reestablish in the public imagination that historically felt connection between public education and the possibility of a robust democracy, against the backdrop of the realities of race today in America. We are delighted to have Beverly Daniel Tatum launch the series. We look forward to publishing many equally important books in the seasons to come.
This year's lectures will be held March 15-17 at Simmons College. Get details at Beacon.org.
Dr. Ernest Morrell Powerful Teaching: Towards a Pedagogy for the Global City
Dr. Ernest Morrell is associate professor in the Urban Schooling Division of the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California at Los Angeles. He was recently appointed Professor of Arts and Humanities and Director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education at Teachers College/Columbia University, positions he will assume July 2011.
Drawing on the everyday lives and experiences of urban adolescents, for almost two decades, Dr. Morrell has worked to develop curricula that promote the development of academic literacy and civic engagement. For the past 12 years, working with high school students in Los Angeles, he has served as Director of the Council of Youth Research, a project that involves youth in researching issues in their communities and schools. He has also worked with teachers throughout the country on the infusion of youth media production into standards-based curricula across discipline areas. In an assessment-driven educational climate, Morrell's innovative approach to teaching transforms how teachers reach students as they navigate what it means to be a reader, writer, and engaged citizen in the 21st century.