Brooklyn Dreams

Brooklyn Dreams My Life in Public Education

Sonia Nieto
paper, 272 Pages
Pub. Date: November 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-856-6
Price: $34.00

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Pub. Date: November 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-858-0

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In Brooklyn Dreams, Sonia Nieto—one of the leading authors and teachers in the field of multicultural education—looks back on her formative experiences as a student, activist, and educator, and shows how they reflect and illuminate the themes of her life’s work. 


This riveting, discerning, and illuminating memoir is a complex and seamless tapestry of Nieto’s personal and professional journey into which she weaves incisive pedagogical insights. Her memoir is a quintessential American saga and is a compelling, inspiring, and essential read. — James A. Banks, Kerry and Linda Killinger Endowed Chair in Diversity Studies, and founding director, Center for Multicultural Education, University of Washington, Seattle

From her modest Brooklyn beginnings to her contemporary moment of jubilación, Sonia Nieto reminds us with this very intimate labor of love that transformation, whether personal or political, always begins with the courage and freedom to dream. — Antonia Darder, author, Culture and Power in the Classroom, and Leavey Presidential Chair of Ethics and Moral Leadership, Loyola Marymount University

A beautiful retrospective on life, struggle, and teaching from one of the most insightful scholars in the field of education. Sonia Nieto’s ability to interrogate and reflect on her experience as a Puerto Rican educator provides a unique vantage point from which to understand many of the complex issues confronting our schools and society today. — Pedro Noguera, distinguished professor of education, Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles

Sonia Nieto has inspired and guided countless educators through her scholarship, teaching, and advocacy. Brooklyn Dreams provides a firsthand account of how one teacher with passion and vision has transformed a field. All educators who care about powerful learning and social justice will love this book. — Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education, Emeritus, Stanford University

Brooklyn Dreams: My Life in Public Education, by Sonia Nieto, makes a major contribution on issues of economic inequality in education as well as the strengths and necessity of bilingual and multicultural education. — Jacqueline J. Saindon, EdD, Journal of Language & Literacy Education

Nieto's autobiography encourages the reader to reflect on the forces that shape one's own life as an educator and education activist.  — Deborah Menkart, Rethinking Schools

Nieto's memoir is more than a record of her experiences; it is a powerful book raising questions of social justice and equality. For anyone with a vested interest in public education, Nieto offers a message of hope and optimism for the future in the face of inequalities and discrimination. — Amy Kelly, Multicultural Perspectives

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About the Author

Dr. Sonia Nieto has devoted her professional life to questions of diversity, equity, and social justice in education. A native of Brooklyn, New York, she began her teaching career in 1966 in an intermediate school in Brooklyn, moving two years later to P.S. 25 in the Bronx, the first fully bilingual school in the Northeast. She later taught in the Puerto Rican Studies Department at Brooklyn College before moving on to the University of Massachusetts, where she taught preservice and practice teachers for twenty-five years before retiring in 2006.

Her research focuses on multicultural education, teacher education, and the education of students of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. She has written or edited eleven books as well as dozens of journal articles and book chapters on these topics. She has received numerous awards for her scholarly work, teaching, activism, and advocacy, including six honorary doctorates. She has been a visiting scholar at various universities in the United States, as well as in Puerto Rico and Spain, and in 2012 she served as the Wits-Claude Distinguished Scholar at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. In addition, she was elected as a Laureate of Kappa Delta Pi (2011) and a member of the National Academy of Education (2015).

She is married to Angel Nieto, a poet, children’s book author, and former middle and high school teacher. Together, they have raised two daughters, Alicia and Marisa, and their granddaughter, Jazmyne. They are the proud grandparents of twelve grandchildren.