Today I talk with Rebecca Tarlau about her new book, Occupying Schools, Occupying Land, which was published last year. The book details the way in which the Landless Workers Movement transformed Brazilian Education.

Rebecca Tarlau is an Assistant Professor of Education and Labor and Employment Relations at the Pennsylvania State University. She is affiliated with the Lifelong Learning and Adult Education Program, the Comparative and International Education program, and the Center for Global Workers’ Rights. Occupying Schools, Occupying Land won the 2020 book award from the Globalization and Education Special Interest Group of the Comparative and International Education Society.

Today we review the field of comparative and international education for 2019. With me for the last show of the year are Susan Robertson and Roger Dale, co-editors of the journal Globalisation, Societies and Education

In our conversation, we touch on many topics, including the rise of global populism, the power of youth, and the impending climate crisis.  The end of the second decade of the 21st century was a watershed year in many respects. What were the big events and ideas and where are we headed in 2020?

Susan and Roger also make a big announcement at the end of the show. So stay tuned until the end!

Susan Robertson is a Professor of Sociology of Education at the University of Cambridge, and Roger Dale is Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Bristol.

Over 500 people were murdered in Chicago last year. Most of these murders were concentrated in a few historically black neighborhoods on the West and South sides of the city. And most of the victims were under 30 years old.

For many people listening to this show in the comfort of their home or car or while at the gym, it’s probably difficult to grasp what such a high rate of murder and violence does not only to those involved but also to the wider community.

In some of these Chicago neighborhoods, the impacts from violence have been compounded by a raft of school closures. A WBEZ Chicago report found since 2002 over 70,000 children – “the vast majority of them black — have seen their schools closed or all staff in them fired.” In 2013 alone, 50 schools were closed, which was the largest intentional mass school closing in recent history.

My guest today is Tio Hardiman, president and founder of Violence Interrupters, Incorporated and an Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice. Tio is on the front lines of conflict resolution, restorative justice practices, and community organizing. He has seen what violence does to a community and the way it impacts and is impacted by schools. In our conversation, we talk about the history of violence in Chicago and what this means for children today.

The past few shows have focused on climate change as being the biggest issue facing teacher unions globally. There are, of course, other big issues. One of them is propaganda. Misinformation campaigns have been on the rise partly due to the turn towards right-wing extremism in many parts of the world. Social media has created new ways to spread misinformation and propaganda, making education a powerful tool to combat the spread of lies and what we might call fake news.

My guest today is Maria Ressa, a Filipino-American journalist and author. Co-founder of online news site Rappler, she has been an investigative reporter in Southeast Asia for CNN and was included in the 2018 Time’s Person of the Year for her work combating fake news. She has been arrested for her reporting on Duterte, the Philippine president, and is currently on trial for cyber libel.

Unions are on the front lines of advocating human rights. That puts them in natural collaboration with non-governmental organizations doing the same. Amnesty International is one such NGO that has strong ties to global trade unions.

Today I speak with Shane Enright(@ShaneEnrightTU), a Workers’ rights campaigner and global trade union adviser at Amnesty International. He recounts various campaigns organized by Amnesty that have tried to pressure governments to release some teachers held prison. He also talks about climate change and the September 20th general strike.

Citation: Enright, Shane, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 169, podcast audio, August 26, 2019. https://www.freshedpodcast.com/shaneenright/

Transcript, translation, resources:

Read more

Teachers are striking across America. From Arizona to Oklahoma to West Virginia, teachers are not simply demanding higher pay. They are also demanding better learning conditions for students and better working conditions for all state employees. And they are succeeding.

Many of these industrial workplace actions are taking place in states that have passed right-to-work laws, meaning workers cannot be compelled to join a union or pay union dues as a condition of employment. The strikes are also happening in the states that Trump won in 2016. So what does this mean for public education generally and the 2020 US presidential election?

My guest today is Eric Blanc, the author of the new book Red State Revolt: The Teachers’ Strike Wave and Working-Class Politics (Verso 2019). Eric is a journalist and a former high school teacher and has followed the on-the-ground developments of the Los Angeles, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, Denver, and Oakland public education strikes.

Citation: Blanc, Eric, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 161, podcast audio, July 1, 2019. https://www.freshedpodcast.com/blanc/

Transcript, Translation, and Resources:

Read more

Today we talk about the history and recent rise of Islamophobia worldwide. My guest is Mariam Durrani, an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Hamilton College.

Finding, and measuring Islamophobia hate speech on social media. John Gomez/Shutterstock

In our conversation, we discussed both the state policy infrastructure enabling Islamophobia while also the everyday discourses and actions that normalize the Othering of a particular group. Dr. Durrani also discusses her own life story of growing up in a military family and witnessing the rise of Islamophobia in the aftermath of  September 11th.

Mariam Durrani recently published the book chapter “Communicating and Contesting Islamophobia.”

Citation: Durrani, Mariam, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 152, podcast audio, April 29, 2019. https://www.freshedpodcast.com/mariamdurrani/

Transcript, translation, and resources:

Read more

Today we look at the power of Participatory Action Research in public science. My guest is Michelle Fine. In the 1990s, she worked on a study called Changing Minds, which looked at the impact of college in a maximum-security prison. The research team comprised of women in and outside of prison.

For Michelle, participatory action research plays an important role in the struggle for social justice. It not only can change legislation, impact critical social theory, and mobilize popular opinion for educational justice; but seemingly small issues can also have deep and lasting implications.

Michelle Fine is a Distinguished Professor at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York where she is a founding member of the Public Science Project.

Citation: Fine, Michelle, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 137, podcast audio, November 26, 2018. https://www.freshedpodcast.com/michellefine/

Transcript, Translation, Resources:

Read more

Today we look at the lessons that can be learned from radical histories. My guests are Aziz Choudry and Salim Vally. They’ve edited a new volume entitled: Reflections on Knowledge, Learning and Social Movements: History’s Schools (Routledge, 2018).

They see history as an organizing tool and discuss the ways in which social movements have learned from the past.

Aziz Choudry is Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Social Movement Learning and Knowledge Production in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University and a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Education Rights and Transformation, University of Johannesburg. Salim Vally is the Director of the Centre for Education Rights and Transformation, an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education, University of Johannesburg, and a Visiting Professor at the Nelson Mandela University. They are both active in various social movements and solidarity organizations around the world.