The Bancroft Library Roundtable will take place in the O’Neill Room of The Faculty Club at noon on Thursday, October 18. Joanne Tien, doctoral candidate, Education, UC Berkeley, will present Education as the Project of Freedom: A Study of the Berkeley Experimental Schools Project, 1968-76.
Educators and activists have long debated the relationship between constructivist pedagogical approaches — which emphasize the autonomous, self-directed construction of knowledge from a learner’s experience — and the cultivation of explicit political values that challenge systems of oppression. Joanne Tien will discuss her research on archival material at The Bancroft Library and how teachers and students in the Berkeley Experimental Schools Project (BESP) navigated this ideological tension. A public educational program that existed from 1968 to 1976, BESP sought to incorporate the goals of both the Free School and Black Power movements. This historical case study sheds light on the dilemma with particular clarity because the Free Schools represent one of the United States’ most radical experiments in constructivist learning, just as the Black Power movement promoted one of its most heightened efforts to challenge systemic oppression.
We hope to see you there!
José Adrián Barragán-Álvarez, Michael Maire Lange, and Kathi Neal
Bancroft Library Roundtable Coordinators