This book provides educators with a conceptual framework to explore and develop authenticity and agency for equity. In response to growing cynicism within the field of education, Raquel Ríos argues that in order to become authentic agents of change, teachers must take a stance of mindful inquiry and examine the role of a teacher within the broader socio-political context. By utilizing the six principles of Conscientious Engagement, teachers can expand their awareness of the power of language and thought, the complex nature our professional relationships, and how we channel energy in ways that can impede or strengthen our work for equity. Full of real-world stories and input from practitioners in the field, this book helps teachers of all levels develop the skills and confidence to grapple with tough philosophical and ethical questions related to social justice and equity, such as:
- What is poverty consciousness and what responsibility do we owe students who come from poorer communities?
- How does racist ideology impact our thinking and practice in education?
- How can we tap into an evolutionary consciousness and collective purpose in order to transform how we advocate for equity?
- How can we expand our professional network for the integration of new ideas?
- How can teachers really make a difference that matters, a difference that extends beyond the four walls of the classroom?
Table of Contents
Part I. Why Conscientious Engagement?
- Introduction: Reclaiming Your Purpose in Education
- Poverty Consciousness
- Conscientious Engagement
- Spirit Consciousness
- Authentic Presence
Part II. Six Principles for Teacher Agency for Equity
Raquel Ríos, Ph.D., has over fifteen years' experience as a teacher and professional development specialist supporting teachers, instructional coaches, and leaders. Currently, she is an instructional designer at New Teacher Center, a national resource on mentoring and coaching for teacher effectiveness located in Santa Cruz, California.
"In this important new book Raquel Rios demonstrates what teachers can do to further equity in the educational experiences of their students. Her ideas are practical and her analysis of the possibilities is insightful and thought provoking. For teachers who seek to make a difference this book will be a source of hope and inspiration."
--Pedro A. Noguera, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Education, UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies
"With the forces promoting corporate school reform projecting outsized power through their big megaphones, Raquel Rios performs an essential challenge, reminding us that education is a universally recognized human right and, at its best, an enterprise geared toward enlightenment, liberation, and the full development of the human personality—mind and heart, body and spirit. Drawing on a lifetime of experience, Rios urges us to expand our critical capacities as we fight for equity, justice, and an education worthy of free people."
--William Ayers is a former Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago
"No matter what we teach or who we teach, we will find great value in the art, the spirit, the healing nature of Teacher Agency for Equity. The practicality of Rios’ work about establishing equity and justice in schools and the community is equally admirable and useful for teachers and teachers of teachers. Rios’ insightful questions at the end of each chapter challenge the reader to internalize the abstract concepts and stories within the book and particularize those into engagement with students, parents, schools and communities. But more important is Rios’ deep understanding that the wisdom in every community and classroom comes from the experiences and the genius of those at the bottom, not the gurus at the top. This consciousness, developed from her own diverse experiences, is congruent with the core beliefs of the long struggle of humans to be free. Her words and beliefs channel those of Civil Rights icons like Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer, Vincent Harding, and Bob Moses."
--Joan T. Wynne, Ph.D./writer/educator, Miami Algebra Project Council