Teachers College Press 

Grow Your Own Teachers
Grassroots Change for Teacher Education

Elizabeth A. Skinner, Maria Teresa Garretón, and Brian D. Schultz, Editors
Foreword by Charles Payne
Teaching for Social Justice
Pub Date: March 2011, 208 pages

Paperback: $32.95, ISBN: 0807751936
Cloth: $64, ISBN: 0807751944
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“Grow Your Own (GYO) is one of the most important educational initiatives in this country. It is a model of social justice education at its best.” —Luis C. Moll, College of Education, University of Arizona

“Grow Your Own was predicated on confidence in the ability of ordinary people to do some extraordinary things. That represents the community organizing tradition at its finest; it represents the American tradition at its finest.”
—From the Foreword by Charles Payne, University of Chicago, co-editor of Teach Freedom: Education for Liberation in the African-American Tradition

“Grow Your Own initiatives are, of necessity, a significant undertaking that involves complex systems and great commitment and expertise. This is one such story. It illuminates the difficulties, challenges, and triumphs in creating a professional teacher pipeline. This is an inspired text.”
Angela Valenzuela, The University of Texas at Austin, author of Subtractive Schooling and Leaving Children Behind

Grow Your Own Teachers describes the evolution of a local school reform movement in Chicago that now serves as a model for change in schools and teacher preparation programs across the country. Grounded in the grassroots organizing tradition, the Grow Your Own (GYO) teacher initiative involves collaboration between community-based organizations and colleges of education in preparing community members to teach for change in their local schools. Incorporating rich stories and the perspectives of foremost teacher educators, students, and community leaders, this book offers an alternative framework for teacher education that will provide urban students with the education they deserve. It will also provide adult community members with an example of higher education that can lead to a rewarding professional career.

Essential reading for anyone involved in school reform, this important book:

  • Shows how to put into practice a community-based social justice oriented approach to teacher preparation.
  • Examines the role of parents in shaping school reform efforts.
  • Includes a chapter by Gregory Michie describing teachers of color working for change in their neighborhood schools.Includes a chapter by Linda Darling-Hammond looking at how GYO compares to other educational reform efforts.

Contributors: Joanna Brown, Linda Darling-Hammond, Maureen D. Gillette, Anne Hallett, Morgan Halstead, Djanna A. Hill, Soo Hong, Christina L. Madda, Kathleen McInerney, Gregory Michie, and Mark R. Warren

Elizabeth A. Skinner is assistant professor in the Bilingual Education Program, Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Illinois State University. Maria Teresa Garretón is professor and chair of the Department of Teacher Education at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. Brian D. Schultz is associate professor in the Department of Educational Inquiry and Curriculum Studies at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago.

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