Michigan State University
Dr. Kyle Greenwalt is an Associate Professor in the Department of Teacher Education at Michigan State University. His educational background includes a BA in philosophy at the University of Chicago, a MEd in Social Studies Education at the University of Minnesota, and a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction, also at the University of Minnesota. His professional background includes two years teaching English at a high school in rural Hungary, and four years teaching social studies at a public, PK-12 school in rural, northern Minnesota. His research is grounded in the study of student and teacher experience, drawing upon the traditions of pragmatism, feminism, and phenomenology. His early work looked at the school as a site of nation-building. More recent work has led him to explore the educative potential of home and family in an age of high-stakes, compulsory school attendance. He is the faculty director of the secondary social studies licensure program at Michigan State University, working with teachers across Michigan to prepare the next generation of teachers to educate children for democratic living. He is also the editor of the Journal of School & Society, a journal of intelligent practice for justice-minded educators. He is the father of three children, and loves Spartan basketball, gardening, hiking, canoeing, meditation and yoga.
University of Cincinnati
Dr. Sarah Stitzlein is Professor of Education and Affiliated Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cincinnati. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Teacher Leadership from Miami University and earned her doctorate in Philosophy of Education from the University of Illinois. As a political philosopher of education, Professor Stitzlein employs Deweyan pragmatism and political theory to analyze and critique issues of justice and equality in schools. She offers normative arguments for improved education for democracy that supports the agency of students and teachers while also rallying citizens to fulfill their responsibilities to public schools as central institutions of democracy. Her work has appeared in leading journals, including Educational Theory, Teachers College Record, and Review of Educational Research. Her most recent books include American Public Education and the Responsibilities of its Citizens: Supporting Democracy in an Age of Accountability (Oxford University Press, 2017) and Teaching for Dissent: Citizenship Education and Political Activism (Routledge, 2014). Her research has been supported by the Spencer Foundation, Templeton Foundation, American Association of University Women, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Center for Ethics and Education. Her research interests carry over into her service, as she directs the Center for Hope and Justice Education and edits the journal Democracy & Education.
Dr. Barbara Stengel is professor emerita of philosophy of education and teacher education at Vanderbilt University. She is the author of several books, most recently, Toward Anti-Oppressive Pedagogy with Liz Self, Harvard Education Press, 2020 and is the co-author, with Gert Biesta, of “Thinking Philosophically about Teaching” in the American Educational Research Association’s Handbook of Research on Teaching (2016). In recent years, Dr. Stengel has explored emotions like courage and fear in educational practice, taken up intersections between classical pragmatism and post-modern, critical, feminist, and new materialist theorizing, and posited critical pragmatist optimism as a stance for (re)constructive educational action in a precarious world. Currently at work on a book project that focuses on responsibility as the orienting concept for understanding education as moral practice, she is also collaborating on a podcast to represent the life of a school in Nashville, TN that was turned around through a thick school-university partnership. Dr. Stengel is the oft-delighted grandmother of Henry, Will, Maggie, Francis, and Lucy.
Becky L. Noël Smith
California State University, Fresno
Becky has been involved in the field of education since 2002. As a former public school teacher, a mother, a community organizer, and through her academic work, she advocates for democratic policies and practices in the public’s schools. She earned her PhD in Instructional Leadership, with an emphasis in Social and Cultural Studies, from the University of Alabama in 2018. She is now Assistant Professor in the Department of Liberal Studies at California State University, Fresno, where she has the privilege of putting to use her teaching and learning experiences in her work with current and future teachers in California’s Central Valley. Her teaching is grounded in the tenets of social foundations, democratic pedagogy, and Deweyan inquiry, and her current writing projects focus on the aesthetic and moral dimensions of the craft of teaching and the persistent struggle to make public schools more humane. Becky’s most recent publication is Love in Education & the Art of Living (Information Age Publishing, 2020), a book in the Studies in the Philosophy of Education Series that she co-edited with Randy Hewitt. She is also the President-elect of the Southeast Philosophy of Education Society.
Director of Communication
Dr. Charles Lowery is an Assistant Professor of Educational Studies in The Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education at OHIO University. He graduated with a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Texas-Tyler and holds the M.Ed. in Educational Administration from Stephen F. Austin State University. He earned his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Stephen F. Austin State University. Additionally, he has completed the Superintendent program at the University of Texas-Tyler. He has over 15 years of experience in PK12 instruction and educational leadership with an additional 10 years of prior experience in leadership and supervision. In preparing aspiring educational leaders for theory and practice in the 21st century, Dr. Lowery embraces a Deweyan perspective for experiential learning through deliberative ways of thinking and democratic ways of doing. His research interests include democratic and moral leadership for social justice and care, perceptions and challenges of diverse and marginalized individuals in educational settings, leadership development in high-needs schools, and emerging metaphors of school leadership in the 21st century.
Emerging Scholars Liaison
B. Jacob Del Dotto
Loyola University of Chicago
B. Jacob Del Dotto is a PhD student at Loyola University of Chicago. His research interests include the intersection of social justice pedagogy and democratic classroom spaces, interracial teacher-student relationships, and the implications of whiteness in schooling. He holds a bachelors degree from Michigan State University and a masters degree in Teaching and Learning-Elementary Education from DePaul University. He has taught in public education for over 10 years in elementary and middle school classrooms. For the past couple of years, he has served as adjunct faculty at Loyola, teaching courses about the sociology of education and the history of American education. In 2018 his first academic work, Coded To Confront: John Dewey and the Intersection of Race and Class in Jim Crow Era America, was published. His most recent publication is a co-authored piece on school choice entitled School Choice, Youth Voice: How Diverse Student Policy Actors Experience High School Choice Policy.
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