Artwork credit: Mikael Owunna
Practices of Freedom: A Model for Transformative Teaching and Teacher Education aims to construct and refine a teacher training model that centers Black community educational knowledge traditions in order to increase Black teachers & teachers of color and transform curricula and pedagogy in Western Pennsylvania.
Our ambitious and multi-pronged approach brings together intergenerational micro-collectives of people to participate in study groups, signature coursework, and research projects that are grounded in Black pedagogies and knowledge traditions.
Using a micro-collective model, we invite high school students, college students, in-service teachers, and community educators to engage in deep learning and reflection together using a freedom-based curriculum. Program participants take part in the following activities:
- Study groups
- Pedagogy, curriculum, and other workshops
- Practices of Freedom Seminar
- Center for Urban Education programming
- Freedom Seminars (1 credit course)
Practices of Freedom: A Model for Transformative Teaching and Teacher Education is funded by a four-year grant from the McElhattan Foundation.
Join the Micro-Collectives
Each year, we invite interested participants to apply to join our micro-collectives, which are groups of four individuals from each generation below. Over the course of each year, micro-collective members attend a primary seminar, along with lectures, workshops, and discussions on Black educational histories and knowledge traditions. Members will also participate in a dialogic model of study to develop small group research.
We welcome high school students, college students and community educators who are interested in deepening education practice through Black knowledge traditions to apply. We also invite in-service teachers of all racial backgrounds to join our collectives, particularly those who work with Black youth and families. If you represent one of the four generations below and would like to participate in our program, please contact Christy McGuire at email@example.com.
You can preview the application questions here.
- Generation 1 participants are 11th and 12th graders from schools in our region.
- Generation 2 participants are undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Pittsburgh.
- Generation 3 participants are in-service K-12 classroom teachers from schools in our region, who can be from any racial background.
- Generation 4 participants are experienced community educators who build capacity and cultivate self-determination in their communities outside of the classroom, such as through art, sports, mutual aid, organizing, advocacy, faith-based organizations, etc.
We review applications once every year for four years from 2022-2026. Each year, the program will begin during the fall semester, lasting eight months (September-April). You are welcome to submit an application at any time, and we encourage you to connect with our Program Director prior to applying.