Tag Archives: Urban Education

March 22: Book signing with guest speaker Dr. Julio Cammarota

Hear Associate Professor Dr. Julio Cammarota of Iowa State University discuss his recently published co-edited book, PAR EntreMundos: A Pedagogy of the Américas, about Participatory Action Research (PAR) and Latinx learners. His research focuses on participatory action research with Latinx youth, institutional factors in academic achievement, and liberatory pedagogy.

In his talk, Dr. Cammarota demonstrates how a PAR EntreMundos has successfully elevated the critical consciousness and intellectualism of teachers, collective members, Latinx students, and other students of color, while encouraging the expansion of these pedagogies to meet the growing diversity of many U.S. schools.

The event will be 6 to 8 p.m. March 22, in New Main, Great Hall at Metropolitan State University, Saint Paul Campus, 700 East 7th Street. Questions about this event may be emailed to rene.antrop-gonzalez@metrostate.edu.

PAR EntreMundos: A Pedagogy of the Américas challenges the standard narratives of “achievement” to think about how Latinx students can experience an education that forges new possibilities of liberation and justice. Growing Latinx student populations have led to concerns about “assimilating” them into mainstream academic frameworks.

This book offers an alternative, decolonizing approach that embraces complex Latinx identities and clears a path toward resisting systems of oppression. Educating Latinx students should involve more than just helping them achieve in school but rather having them recognize their agency to transform the larger structure of education to promote justice-oriented practices.

The authors offer a framework for such transformation by honoring their theoretical lineages, proposing a set of guiding principles, and sharing stories about collective social action within and outside Latinx communities. PAR EntreMundos: A Pedagogy of the Américas is a practice of liberation and freedom.

This book presentation and signing are co-sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts, Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship, Library and Information Services, School of Urban Education, and the University of Minnesota Department of Curriculum and Instruction.


School of Urban Education students featured in Linking Educators, Youth, and Learners in Computational Thinking Video

School of Urban Education students Vanessa Arboleda and Gretchen Henke are featured in this video that features the LinCT project (Linking Educators, Youth, and Learners in Computational Thinking) of which Urban Education is a partner with the Science Museum of Minnesota and St. Catherine’s University.

You can watch the video here:  LinCT Video

LinCT: Linking Educators, Youth, and Learners in Computational Thinking is a three-year ITEST Strategies project to build and grow a professional learning and teaching community to focus on engaging women educators with technology, building upon educational practice and preparing students for future STEM involvement.  It was first established in February 2016.


Why is Metropolitan State’s Urban Education program good for our community?

In Education Minnesota report calls for more teacher diversity, Minnesota Public Radio’s Laura Yuen reported in March 2016

“The state’s student body is not as diverse as the national average, but the lack of diversity among its teaching ranks is much more severe and “highly detrimental,” according to a 65-page report from the state teachers union released Monday.

“Less than 4 percent of Minnesota’s teachers are nonwhite, compared with about 30 percent of schoolchildren.

“First-grade teacher Maria Le, an adviser to the Education Minnesota report, said children aren’t seeing themselves reflected in the teaching ranks. And, she said, the lack of diversity can also be tough on the teachers who do come from diverse backgrounds.

The School of Urban Education covers many facets of the current public school makeup in the metropolitan area, with the primary goal of educating teachers who can relate to diverse classroom populations.

Continue reading Why is Metropolitan State’s Urban Education program good for our community?

New course examines immigrant and refugee experience

Are you interested in learning more about immigrants and refugees? A new course titled EDU 451/651: Immigrants and Refugees in Urban Schools examines the experience of students in grades K-12 who are immigrants or refugees living in urban communities, particularly within the Twin Cities.

This course is appropriate for undergraduate and graduate students studying urban education, as well as communication, ethnic studies, writing, business, management, humanities, alcohol and drug counseling, social work and social science.

This course is available beginning spring semester 2016. For more information contact Rosa Fagundes at 651-999-5931 or e-mail Rosa.Fagundes@metrostate.edu.

Dr. Sonia Nieto connects personal struggles to teaching

At age 6, Sonia Nieto decided to become a teacher. At age 10 she finished her first novel. But it took much more than ambition and determination to propel Nieto from her childhood home in a Puerto Rican enclave in Williamsburg, N.Y. to a long, productive career as an educator and writer.

It took some luck—and a change in zip code.

In discussing her memoir, Brooklyn Dreams, with a packed house March 3 in New Main Great Hall, Nieto noted that her family’s move from a poor neighborhood to the middle class Flatbush community was a significant factor in her life.

Attending Erasmus Hall, one of the best high schools in New York City—complete with tutors, honors classes and middle-class peers actively planning to attend college—balanced out the fact that she felt invisible as one of the school’s three Puerto Rican students. Having the good fortune to attend Erasmus allowed her to pursue further education and her dreams.

Even while opening the door to opportunity, Erasmus continued the implicit lessons of a devaluing the experience of minority students, which was common in the 1950s.

“We learn to be ashamed of who we are and who our families are if we don’t fit a particular profile,” said Nieto, an award-winning scholar, teacher and urban education advocate.

The social justice implications were not lost on Nieto, who was told early in her teaching career to “leave cultural baggage at the door.”

Since then, multicultural education and culturally responsive teaching has been her calling card. Finding ways to incorporate cultural background and experiences into the curriculum so that students may hang on to their identities without isolating themselves is a central theme of her work. Nieto noted that the trick is balancing that pride with mutual respect for other cultures, which is a must in our diverse and complex society.

“Sonia Nieto’s work is important, because she sheds much wisdom on how teachers can rethink their work to infuse social justice ideologies and practices in their everyday labor,” said Rene Antrop-Gonzalez, School of Urban Education dean, at the event cosponsored by Minneapolis and Saint Paul Public Schools. “In the continued era of neoliberal approaches to public education, Dr. Nieto’s message is one of hope and keeping up the good fight to push back against forces that would rather see our children and youth fail than succeed.”


March 3: Dr. Sonia Nieto to speak on social justice and educating diverse societies

Renowned educator Dr. Sonia Nieto speaks at a Metropolitan State University School of Urban Education event on March 3 in New Main Great Hall, Saint Paul Campus. The event is divided into two parts: Forum I (1–3 p.m.) and Forum II (6:30–8:30 p.m.).

In Forum 1, Dr. Nieto will deliver a keynote presentation on her life in public education based on her memoir, Brooklyn Dreams. In Forum II, her topic is “Educating a Diverse Society Through the Lens of Social Justice.”

RSVP for this event.

“Dr. Sonia Nieto and her significant work in teacher education, especially in the areas of multicultural education and Latina/o education, have shaped generations of teachers and teacher educators and their approaches to serving children and youth of color,” says School of Urban Education Dean René Antrop-González. “The School of Urban Education is proud to have this highly acclaimed and internationally respected scholar visit our campus and raise consciousness centering on the intersections between social justice and serving urban learners.”

Continue reading March 3: Dr. Sonia Nieto to speak on social justice and educating diverse societies

Jan. 29: Forum of Solidarity with Muslim Communities

The School of Urban Education (UED) invites the public to a forum to express solidarity with Muslim communities and to discuss the current news headlines that attack and place blame on people of color and these communities.

The forum will gather from 6 to 8 p.m., Jan. 29 in the Founder’s Hall auditorium on Metropolitan State University’s Saint Paul Campus, 700 E. Seventh Street. A panel of speakers will include UED staff, students and faculty, who will discuss with the community how we can unite to counter the racism and bigotry that divides us.

In a letter to students, they state “The School of Urban Education is deeply troubled and offended by the increase in racist, Islamophobic, xenophobic, and fascist-like remarks made over the past several weeks by politicians and ordinary citizens in response to terrorism, the Syrian refugee crises, and struggles for justice against repeated police killings of unarmed black and brown people. The Urban Teacher Program (UTP) is a community, and we express deep empathy with Muslim students and colleagues who walk through everyday experiences feeling under surveillance and yet unseen.

“We live in a time when people can no longer hide beneath the pain of others, but find a way to end the pain with the solidarity that is needed to bring ‘tidings of comfort and joy’ to all of us with ‘liberty and justice for all.’ We want to be clear that we stand in solidarity against such bigotry and united in our common dream of liberation for children historically, and currently, underserved, dismissed, and blamed all in one. We are educators, and we will continue to push forward in the spirit of our shared work in educating urban children and youth and towards the creation of a more just community.”

Metropolitan State University is dedicated to its role as an urban university committed to meeting the higher education needs of the Twin Cities and greater metropolitan population. A section of Metropolitan State’s Value Statement reads “We celebrate and include all voices in our quest for quality higher education. We value all forms of diversity, no matter one’s ethnicity, religious or sexual preferences, income level, learning style or area of academic focus. All are welcomed. All are valued.” Light refreshments will be served. For more information, contact the office of Urban Education.

Persons with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation to participate in this event should call Disability Services at 651-793-1549 or e-mail disability.services@metrostate.edu.