Institute for Emancipatory Education

Institute for Emancipatory Education

There is an urgent need to radically transform our educational systems.

Too many of our P20 students are marginalized and/or multiply-marginalized based on race, class, national origin, language, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, and neurodiversity. For decades, we have been tinkering around the edges, providing patchwork programs and band-aid solutions but our core educational systems continue to perpetuate inequity and injustice. An emancipatory approach will challenge our epistemic framework, prioritize learning in partnership with community, and radically reimagine systems to center historically marginalized perspectives.

The Institute for Emancipatory Education (IEE) at San José State University (SJSU) will facilitate community-engaged research and advance emancipatory pedagogies that support the redesign of learning from preschool through post-secondary. As a result, we will support the development of equitable and inclusive educational systems that nurture the creativity and brilliance of all learners so that our diverse, democratic society can truly thrive.

Recent News

Critical Race Theory and Abolition: Struggle and the Praxis of Emancipatory Education

The Institute for Emancipatory Education at SJSU's Lurie College of
Education was honored to present Dr. David Stovall, who spoke about the constructs of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Abolition to consider emancipatory education. If we are trying to create an education that liberates those who experience white supremacy in the form of isolation, marginalization and dehumanization, we must be clear about the current socio-political moment. We must be willing to take away lessons of history to build a praxis (action and reflection in the world in order to change it) centered in the needs of our communities. Any struggle for change, time, space and will is central moving forward.

Emancipatory Education from Theory to Praxis Webinar with Dr. Tara Yosso

IEE Theory to Practice Webinar with Dr. Tara Yosso

The Institute for Emancipatory Education at the SJSU Lurie College of
Education is honored to present Dr. Tara J. Yosso as our Inaugural Distinguished Scholar in Residence. Dr. Yosso kicked this new role by leading the webinar "Emancipatory Education from Theory to Praxis: Community Cultural Wealth, Counterstorytelling, and Critical Race Media Literacy." During the webinar, Tara J. Yosso discussed three areas of her work: community cultural wealth, counterstorytelling, and critical race media literacy and participants identified points of praxis for our own work.

Intersectional Disability Studies Speaker Series

IDSS Speaker Series Lydia X.Z. Brown and Alice Wong

The Intersectional Disability Studies Strand (IDSS), under the SJSU Lurie College of Education’s Institute for Emancipatory Education (IEE), serves as a community-engaged, culturally sustaining space that centers disability visibility and disability as an intersectional identity. Our strand provides specific resources and support to engage intersectional disability studies and accessibility in education.

Our Fall 2021 speaers included Lydia X.Z. Brown, advocate, organizer, attorney, strategist, and writer whose work focuses on interpersonal and state violence against disabled people as well as Alice Wong, disabled activist, writer, editor, media maker, consultant, and founder and director of the Disability Visibility Project.

SJSU x REP4 Learner Design Summit

“I really, really enjoyed this experience of meeting and connecting with great people. Everybody shared what problems they had faced, and that really opened up my mind to see what we can do and what we need to change.” - JC Jacinto, Learner Design Summit participant

In partnership with the Rapid Education Prototyping (REP4) Alliance, we launched a free Learner Design Summit, which is a leadership development opportunity designed to bring together rising 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students, recent high school graduates, community college students, and SJSU undergraduate students to collaborate and design creative proposals to address existing challenges in the higher education system.

Read the full story on the SJSU Newsroom blog

Summer 2021 K-12 Teaching Academy

Why is it critical to start with centering our students' humanity and drawing from our students' identities, particularly as we transition away from the 2020-2021 academic year? - Betina Hsieh, Associate Professor of Teacher Education at CSU Long Beach.

Building upon the success of our Summer 2020 and Winter 2021 K-12 Teaching Academy webinar series', our Summer 2021 series focuses on returning to a “new normal” in classrooms in Fall 2021 with topics such as (re)building classroom community, anti-racist teaching, student voice and choice, and more.

Broadband Access Study

Broadband Access Study

The fact that this region has had issues with Internet access has less to do with the Internet itself, but rather the populations affected. - Eduardo Muñoz-Munoz, Assistant Professor of Teacher Education at SJSU

Our SJSU Lurie College faculty Luis Poza, Eduardo Muñoz-Muñoz, and Tammie Visintainer, along with SJSU faculty Ahoura Zandiatashbar, collaborated with California Assemblymember Robert Rivas and the Watsonville High School ECHO Leadership Academy to better understand the impact of known gaps in broadband internet access across California's 30th Congressional District.

Read the full story on the SJSU Newsroom blog

Foundational Activities

Emancipatory Education Speaker Series

Many are looking forward to a time when we can go back to “normal” in education; however, that "normal" wasn't working for too many of our children, youth, families and communities. Watch the recordings of series of conversations with nationally recognized speakers such as Sec. John King, Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings, and many more who shared their visions for a more equitable and emancipatory education system.

Read the full story on the SJSU Newsroom blog

K-12 Teaching Academy

We established our free K-12 Teaching Academy in Summer 2020 to support current teachers, teacher candidates, and community partners in transitioning to online teaching as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, our webinar recordings have been viewed over 25,000 times and our series has been highlighted on ABC7 NewsEdSource, and the COVID-19 CA website.

Read additional coverage on the SJSU Newsroom blog

Emancipatory Education Now

Emancipatory Education Now is a student-led initiative that was established in Fall 2020 to examine what emancipatory education – the critical evaluation of the systems and structures of oppression that maintain the status quo in our educational institutions – looks like in today’s society and advocates for the expansion of emancipatory education research, policies, and practices.

Faces of Learning Project

This arts-based research initiative elicited student voices to provide insights into learning experiences at SJSU. A group of SJSU undergraduate student researchers met with students in the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 semesters to get a deeper understanding of their learning experiences and then synthesize and share those experiences with the larger university community.

Future of Learning Summit

At our Fall 2019 Summit, attendees and speakers engaged in dialogues about how we learn today and consider how teaching and learning can and should evolve in the years ahead. Read the coverage by the SJSU Newsroom and listen to the 10 featured speakers' talks.

Read the full story on the SJSU Newsroom blog

Guiding Principles

Signature Activities

IEE Advisory Board

  • Magdalena Barrera, PhD - Professor, SJSU Chicano and Chicana Studies and Interim Vice Provost for Faculty Success
  • Demerris Brooks, EdD - Director of Workforce Development and Organizational Culture, Santa Clara County Office of Education
  • Rebeca Burciaga, PhD - Professor, SJSU Chicano and Chicana Studies and Educational Leadership
  • Eva Condron-Wells - Sr. Manager of Learning and Growing, Xilinx
  • Patrick Day - Vice President, SJSU Student Affairs
  • Victor Duarte-Vasquez - Director of Community Organizing and Policy, SOMOS Mayfair
  • Mark Felton, PhD - Professor, SJSU Teacher Education and Faculty Associate Dean for Research, SJSU Lurie College of Education
  • Chris Funk - Superintendent, Dublin Unified School District
  • Jennifer Husbands, PhD - Senior Program Officer, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Walt Jacobs, PhD - Dean, SJSU College of Social Sciences
  • Kristin Jordan - Ford Corporation
  • Ash Kalra, JD - Assembly Member, 27th District, California State Assembly
  • Michael Kaufman, PhD - Dean, SJSU College of Science
  • Saili Kulkarni, PhD - Associate Professor, SJSU Special Education
  • Nidhi Mahendra, PhD - Professor and Chair, SJSU Communicative Disorders and Sciences
  • Robert Marx, PhD - Assistant Professor, SJSU Child and Adolescent Development
  • Kent McGuire, PhD - Program Director, Education, Hewlett Foundation
  • Jorge Pacheco - Trustee, Oak Grove School District
  • Cassandra Paul, PhD - Associate Professor, SJSU Physics and Astronomy
  • Marcos Pizarro, PhD - Professor, Chicano and Chicana Studies and Associate Dean, SJSU Lurie College of Education
  • Luis Poza, PhD - Assistant Professor, SJSU Teacher Education
  • Arun Ramanathan, PhD - CEO, Pivot Learning
  • Andres Rodriguez - Vice-President for Young Adults, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
  • Rowena Tomaneng, EdD - President, San José City College
  • Tammie Visintainer, PhD - Assistant Professor, SJSU Science Education and Teacher Education
  • Jahmal Williams - Directory of Advocacy for Racial Justice, SJSU Community and Government Relations
  • Kathleen Wong (Lau), PhD - Chief Diversity Officer, SJSU Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion