Schooling for Critical Consciousness

Schooling for Critical Consciousness Engaging Black and Latinx Youth in Analyzing, Navigating, and Challenging Racial Injustice

Scott Seider and Daren Graves
paper, 248 Pages
Pub. Date: January 2020
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-429-8
Price: $32.00

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cloth, 248 Pages
Pub. Date: January 2020
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-430-4
Price: $62.00

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Pub. Date: January 2020
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-431-1

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Schooling for Critical Consciousness addresses how schools can help Black and Latinx youth resist the negative effects of racial injustice and challenge its root causes. Scott Seider and Daren Graves draw on a four-year longitudinal study examining how five different mission-driven urban high schools foster critical consciousness among their students. The book presents vivid portraits of the schools as they implement various programs and practices, and traces the impact of these approaches on the students themselves.


Seider and Graves provide a rich accounting of the powerful practices that are necessary for fostering youth critical consciousness by drawing upon the experiences of a culturally diverse group of students attending high schools in urban communities. This book is essential for educators in and beyond school walls who are concerned with the positive and healthy success of marginalized and minoritized young people preparing to be productive contributors to our democracy. — Dorinda Carter Andrews, chairperson, Department of Teacher Education, Michigan State University

Schooling for Critical Consciousness offers a clarion call for educators and researchers as we respond to these ‘dangerous times’ in our work with youth. Starting with James Baldwin’s wisdom and then guiding us through engrossing case studies of five schools, the authors highlight key practices that support youth as conscious agents of social change and the varied strengths of different schoolwide approaches to students’ sociopolitical development. This is a must-read for educators looking to support the healthy development of all of our young people as they contend with a social world fractured by structural oppression and racism. — Ben Kirshner, professor, School of Education, University of Colorado Boulder

Schooling for Critical Consciousness serves as both a hard call to all education stakeholders who remain blind to these dangerous times and a useful guide to those policymakers, schools, and educators who are ready to transform educational spaces to include opportunities to purposefully cultivate and actively grow critical consciousness of racial injustice among our Black and Latinx students as a means of empowerment and agency, and to better equip them to face these dangerous times in which we all live. — Teachers College Record

Schooling for Critical Consciousness is firmly based on educational theory and provides ample meaningful pedagogic examples for educators to consider for implementation. — Education Review

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About the Authors

Scott Seider is an associate professor of applied developmental psychology at the Boston College Lynch School of Education & Human Development. Dr. Seider’s research focuses on the civic development of adolescents, and he has reported on this work in more than seventy academic publications. He is also the author of two previous books, Shelter: Where Harvard Meets the Homeless (Continuum, 2010) and Character Compass: How Powerful School Culture Can Point Students Toward Success (Harvard Education Press, 2012), both of which won the American Educational Research Association’s outstanding book award in moral development and education. Prior to joining the Boston College faculty, Dr. Seider worked as a teacher-educator at Boston University and as a secondary English teacher in the Boston Public Schools.

Daren Graves is an associate professor of education at Simmons University, where his research lies at the intersection of critical race theory, racial identity development, and teacher education. His work has been published in numerous academic journals including Developmental Psychology, Applied Developmental Science, and Youth & Society. He also coteaches Critical Race Theory in Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. Graves currently serves as cochair of the AERA Hip Hop Theories, Praxis & Pedagogies Special Interest Group and as the liaison between Simmons University and the Boston Teachers Union Pilot School, a public K–8 school where he works closely with teachers and students.