Connecticut College Magazine · Winter 2004

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The Fight for Human Rights

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Why I teach
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Sandy Grande

Sandy Grande
Sandy Grande

Assistant Professor of Education
Joined CC faculty: 2000


As a teacher and scholar, I center my work in the belief that education is the heart of democracy. In other words, I do not engage teaching as a neutral enterprise but rather as a political act. More specifically, I believe that given the pressing issues of our time — poverty, global capitalism, racism, unequal educational opportunity, health care, environmental destruction — that education must engage issues of power, history and self-identity. In so doing, we must provide students the hope and possibility of democratic action, that is, collective agency and revolutionary struggle.

In preparing future public schoolteachers, I reject the conceptualization of teachers as professional performers, “trained” to implement the practical skills of “instruction” and “management.” In contradistinction, I view teachers as active participants in the construction, distribution, and evaluation of knowledge, values and cultural practice. Teacher education in this context emerges as a political project involving the education of a class of intellectuals vital to the development of a free and equitable society. This brings the purpose of teaching and education back to the imperatives of democracy.


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