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"Art for Social Change at the Ivory Tower" by Joe Matunis and his protégé Christopher Guerra Morales"Art for Social Change at the Ivory Tower" by Joe Matunis and Christopher Guerra Morales

Art for Social Change

The PH.D program in Urban Education (Cohort 17) was in charge of organizing this year’s "Meanings of Urban Education" lecture series with the guidance of Dr. Ofelia Garcia as part of the Urban Education Colloquium.  In doing so, they imagined a panel discussion that was transformative in mind, body and soul. While the drumming of Bomba rhythms invoked our spirits, high school students grounded us and dance connected us to our humanity.
A mural was created during the Colloquium with ideas from the discussion on "Why Should We Educate in a Democracy". The discussion was led by Nick Michelli, Sharon Hardy, Deborah Greenblatt, Stacey Campo and Lisa Auslander. The mural is titled "Art for Social Change at the Ivory Tower" and was created by Joe Matunis and his protégé Christopher Guerra Morales.  

Joe Matunis is a community artist, activist and educator who has developed a concept of community art practice in which the artist integrates into the life of the community and develops art programs and projects in conjunction with, and in response to the needs and interests of the community over an extended period of time. He is also a co-founder of and art facilitator at El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice, a public high school located in Los Sures. Since 1993 he has led the annual Integrated Arts Project, which brings together teaching artists and academic teachers to develop and present original multimedia works of art based on year-long investigations of a theme connected to a social justice issue affecting the community.

Christopher Guerra Morales is currently a senior at the El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice who is interested in studio and fine arts.  He wants to study arts at LaGuardia and is currently working on pieces that represent his love for his Mexican Ancestry as well as issues of social change.

Urban Education Faculty Deb Shanley and Nicholas Michelli with student Christina Basias, and alumni Lisa Auslander, Sharon Hardy and Stacey Campo

Urban Education Ph.D. Student Natalia Ortiz Receives $20,000 Grant From American Association of University Women

Ph.D. student Natalia Ortiz (Urban Education) and Claudia Astorino (Anthropology) were each awarded grants of $20,000 from the American Association of University Women (AAUW), which supports women scholars and promotes empowerment for women and girls.

Natalia Ortiz is a scholar, educator, and activist. In her research, she explores how teachers engage in critical dialogues around race and racism using applied theater and theater of the oppressed techniques. Through her work, Ortiz hopes to offer an alternative practice in teacher education, one that engages the body and mind. Before joining the GC, Ortiz taught U.S. history to over-aged, under-credited youth — students aged 15 to 21 who have a low number of accumulated high school credits — in New York City.


Urban Education Ph.D. Student Natalia Ortiz

PhD Student and Social Media Fellow, Jennifer Stoops, at the 2017 Annual Business Meeting for the American Educational Studies Association (AESA)

Urban Education PhD Student and Social Media Fellow, Jennifer Stoops, presents her communications report at the 2017 Annual Business Meeting (11/4/17) for the American Educational Studies Association (AESA), a professional organization of approximately 650 members on the social foundations of education. Jennifer serves as the Communications Director for AESA. She manages AESA's social media accounts, publishes newsletters, maintains the website, organizes elections, and handles general inquiries.

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Urban Education Student Jennifer Stoops Presents at AESA

National Science Foundation Grant Will Support Doctoral Research of Urban Education Student

As part of their efforts to support the research and development needed to bring computer science content to all K-12 learners, the National Science Foundation awarded $300,000 to researchers at the CUNY Graduate Center's Research Institute for the Study of Language in Urban Society (RISLUS) and New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development to establish a partnership with bilingual teachers at three New York City public middle schools in Washington Heights. This project will support the doctoral research of urban education Cohort ‘15 student Sara Vogel, who will be the lead Research Assistant on the project. The 2-year project is called Participating in Literacies and Computer Science. It seeks to address a problem of practice facing educators tasked with rolling out New York City's Computer Science for All (CS4All) policy: how to equitably serve emergent bilinguals -- students who speak languages other than English and are learning English. Accordingly, PiLaCS will develop and test pedagogies that draw on the strengths of students as they learn computer science and become empowered makers and users of technology. The grant began August 15, 2017. The Principal Investigators are:

Christopher Hoadley, Associate Professor of Learning Sciences/Educational Technology, NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
Kate Menken, Professor of Linguistics, at Queens College and RISLUS Research Fellow, CUNY Graduate Center
Laura Ascenzi-Moreno, Assistant Professor of Childhood, Bilingual, & Special Education, Brooklyn College and RISLUS Associate

What Do You Do That Can’t Be Measured? Visualizing Teachers’ Invisible Work

In 2013-2014, New York state launched a teacher assessment policy, called “Advance,” linking teacher evaluations to student test scores. That same year, Victoria Restler, a doctoral student in the Urban Education program, worked with a group New York City public school teachers to chart their reflections on the policy. This exhibition presents some of the public artwork she created together with those teachers. Restler’s dissertation shines a light on teachers’ invisible carework expanding our imagination of teacher labor.  Her multimodal work features the unequal distribution of teachers’ caring burdens and responsibilities across race/ class/ gender/ culture/ and language in urban schools.  This art-research brings forward teachers’ carework as a significant (and under-explored) site for the social reproduction of school inequality.
Developed alongside her print dissertation, Restler created an online “digital assemblage” that combines her multimedia art and research with critical analysis. The website is designed to showcase and theorize the visual, aural and multimodal components of her research.

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