Watch Online Conversation on ‘Reimagining Schools’

The second event of the Reimagining series, Reimagining Social Institutions, takes place on December 17 at noon ET. You can register for the event HERE.

Given the turmoil that 2020 has brought to the world, can we — both as global citizens and as members of the social and behavioral science community — “move beyond analysis to impact”? That was a question asked by Ziyad Marar, the president of global publishing for SAGE Publishing, asked at the start of the debut online event for the “Reimagining Social Institutions” series – “Reimagining Schools.” You can watch the recording of the event below.

“Reimagining Schools” featured several prominent experts of inequality in higher education from the United States and the United Kingdom in an hourlong conversation moderated by Alondra Nelson, president of the Social Science Research Council and the Harold F. Linder Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study. Panelists Prudence L. Carter of the University of California, Berkeley; Pawan Dhingra of Amherst College; and academic and author Nasima Hassan each offered ideas for what a post-pandemic education system — from kindergarten to post-grad – might include.

In line with the focus of the Reimagining series included many calls for banishing racism, inequality and classism from schools and installing people-centered practices and values education that promoted diversity and inclusion with, as Dhingra said, “more compassion baked into the school system.”

All the speakers called for imagining schools as agents of community good, and not just individual advancements. “My dream for k-16 education,” said Carter, “is how do we make education more for public good … as opposed to ‘what it does for me,’ a private good.” But she also said, after noting that as well as being a scholar of education she is currently a first-grade teacher’s aide in her 7-year-old son’s class, argued that its unfair to expect schools alone to solve all of the issues in a society, especially a society whose ills institutions of education reflect. And, as Hassan cogently added, all of these are “conversations we should have anyway regardless of the global pandemic.”

This program, sponsored by the Social Science Research Council and SAGE Publishing, is presented as part of the Social Science Research Council’s Inequality Initiative, a series of programs and projects that bring innovative social science analysis to bear on understanding the roots and consequences of unequal participation in political, economic, and social systems across the globe.

About the speakers

Prudence Carter

Sociologist Prudence L. Carter is the E.H. and Mary E. Pardee Professor and dean of the Graduate School of Education at Berkeley. Carter’s expertise centers on issues of youth identity and race, class, and gender; urban poverty; social and cultural inequality; the sociology of education; and mixed research methods. Specifically, she examines academic and mobility differences shaped by the effects of race, ethnicity, class, and gender. She is author of Keepin’ It Real: School Success beyond Black and White and Stubborn Roots: Race, Culture, and Inequality in U.S. and South African Schools. Carter is an elected member of the National Academy of Education and the Sociological Research Association and a fellow of the American Educational Research Association. She also serves on the board of trustees for the William T. Grant Foundation and SOAR for Youth.

Pawan Dhingra

Pawan Dhingra is and award-winning teacher professor of American studies and faculty equity and inclusion officer at Amherst College. He is a former curator at the Smithsonian Institution. He has been published in the New York Times, CNN, and elsewhere, and his work has been profiled in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, the White House forum on AAPI heritage, and other venues. He is a multiple award-winning author whose latest book is Hyper Education: Why Good Schools, Good Grades, and Good Behavior Are Not Enough. He also appears in the Netflix documentary Spelling the Dream.

Nasima Hassan, originally from Lancashire, has worked in secondary school teaching humanities, in teacher training, and in strategic management in higher education. She has worked extensively overseas supporting teachers’ professional development in India (Bangalore), South Africa (Kwazulu Natal), and most recently in conjunction with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Malaysia. She has published on the education system in South Africa, faith schools, and the schooling experience of British Muslims. Her doctoral thesis explored the concept of “Muslim consciousness” through a philosophical and political exploration of identity construction. She is coauthor, with Tomas Boronski, of Sociology of Education.

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