At the core of education as a discipline are concepts that are also critical in the humanities—civic engagement, personal improvement, societal progress, and, fundamentally, being human. One particularly salient idea in the humanities that connects explicitly with education is the idea of justice. Indeed, questions such as, “What is just practice?” and “What are ethical ways of being and interacting with others?” get to the core of educational practices that teachers, administrators, and other school staff enact in schools and classrooms every day. These questions are particularly important as we consider disparities in disciplinary practices, such as suspension and expulsion, that start as early as Pre-Kindergarten for students of color. To explore these issues and connect the practice of education to the study of humanities, the Center for Urban Education (CUE) proposes a three-part event focused on understand and changing disproportionate disciplinary practices, and in particular acknowledging the salience of race, justice, and human rights in a the everyday practice of education.
CUE’s mission is to research and disseminate evidence-based methods for improving urban communities and urban education in the Pittsburgh region and nationally. In the upcoming school year, CUE is committed to studying the school-to-prison pipeline and bringing both the University community and the broader Pittsburgh community together to discuss both the humanistic and practical importance of this topic. As an integral part of this work, CUE will host a three component event titled, “You Can't Fix What You Don't Look At: Acknowledging Race in Addressing Disproportionality” with invited guest lecturer Dr. Russell Skiba. In his work, Dr. Skiba, Professor and co-Director of the Equity Project at Indiana University, examines the overarching idea of equity in education, with a focus on school discipline and disproportionality.
The goal of this event is to connect the ideal to the practical and allow participants to connect a humanistic understanding of justice and the fundamental aspects of being human with concrete outlets for their ideas and work in the community.
Video of the lecture is available here.