Educating for Insurgency: The Roles of Young People in Schools of Poverty (Paperback)
A manifesto for today's broken schools.
Desegregation has failed. Schools filled with black and brown students have become plantations of social control, where the policing of behavior trumps the expanding of minds. Radical teachers and organizers in American public schools must help young people fashion an insurgency. That means, at the very least, seeing each student's rebellion not as violation, but as communication.
Jay Gillen writes with passion and compassion about the daily lives of poor students trapped in institutions that dismiss and degrade them. In the spirit of Paulo Freire, and using the historical models of slave rebellions and Civil Rights struggles as guides, Gillen explains what sort of insurgency is needed and how to create it: the tools and techniques required to build social, intellectual, and political power.
This poetic manifesto of revolutionary "educational reform" belongs in the pocket of anyone who currently works in, suffers through, or simply cares about public schooling in this country.
Jay Gillen teaches English in a Baltimore public school and has worked with the Baltimore Algebra Project since 1995, building math literacy among youth of color and youth experiencing poverty in US public schools.
Bob Moses is an educator and Civil Rights activist. He founded the Algebra Project in 1982.
In Oakland, California on March 24, 2015 a fire destroyed the AK Press warehouse along with several other businesses. Please consider visiting the AK Press website to learn more about the fundraiser to help them and their neighbors.
About the Author
After receiving a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from The Johns Hopkins University in 1987, Jay Gillen taught for five years in a Baltimore comprehensive high school. In 1994, he became the founding teacher-director of the first community-run public school in Baltimore. From 1995 to the present, Gillen has been immersed in the educational and political work of the Algebra Project. From 2001 to 2009, he worked as the Baltimore City Schools Facilitator for the Algebra Project. Most of his teaching in this period was in after-school programs, evenings and weekends, developing a democratic youth/math culture. From 2009-2013, Gillen worked with a team of experienced Algebra Project youth to co-teach one cohort of 20 students in a "failing" high school. The cohort graduated at a rate of 71% compared to 17% for the school as a whole. He has published articles in a number of newspapers and journals. Gillen currently teaches English in another Baltimore City public school.