As a teacher and scholar, Sandy Grande centers her work in the belief that education is the heart of a critical democracy. She asserts that questions about education cannot be reduced to disciplinary parameters, but must include issues of power, history, self-identity and the possibility of collective agency and revolutionary struggle. Thus, rather than reject the language of politics, Professor Grande constructs teaching as the link between public education and the imperatives of democracy.
Thus, rather than reject the language of politics, Professor Grande constructs teaching as the link between public education and the imperatives of democracy. Moreover, in her work with Indigenous schools and communities, Professor Grande draws connections between the political project of forming a new critical democracy and the Indigenous struggle for self-determination and tribal sovereignty. She teaches Foundations of Education, Methods of Teaching, and Public Policy and Social Ethics. In addition to these courses, she has also taught courses in the History of American Education and the Pedagogy of Revolution.
Grande is a professor in the education department and became director of the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity in 2015.
She served as a faculty fellow in the Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy (2011-2013). She has served in a number of administrative capacities at the College including Special Adviser to the President for Institutional Equity and Diversity (2004-2005) and faculty representative on the Strategic Planning Committee (2003-2004). In 2004 she was also appointed to chair the committee to develop the Center for Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE) at the College, which was subsequently established in 2005.
Among her many honors and awards, Professor Grande was named as a “founding scholar” to The Paulo and Nita Freire International Project for Critical Pedagogy at McGill University, CA. As part of this project she was invited to attend an international meeting of Freire-ian scholars in Baeza, Spain (2009).
In 2011 she was appointed to serve as a member to the EPA’s National Environmental Justice Advisory Council’s Indigenous People’s Work Group. She currently serves as consultant-evaluator to the American Indian College Fund/Kellogg Foundation’s Wakanyeja Sacred Little Ones Early Childhood Education Initiative. She is the founder and director of the Tecumseh Institute, a Think Tank for Native American and Indigenous Public Policy and Intellectual Discourse based in New York City. She has also served as committee member on the National Education Taskforce’s Committee on Race and Ethnicity since 2007 and has been an advisory board member for the National Science Foundation and Oregon Museum of Science and Industry’s Generations of Knowledge: Traditional Environmental Knowledge since 2008. She was also named “Higher Education Multicultural Faculty of the Year” (2004) by the Connecticut chapter of the National Association of Multicultural Education (NAME). NAME is an international organization that brings together individuals and groups with an interest in multicultural education from all levels of education, different academic disciplines and diverse educational institutions and occupations.
Her current research examines the intersections between critical theory and American Indian Intellectualism. Her approach is profoundly inter- and cross-disciplinary, and has included the integration of critical Indigenous and Marxist theories of education.
Professor Grande has written several articles including "Beyond the Ecologically Noble Savage: Deconstructing the White Man's Indian," Journal of Environmental Ethics; "Critical Theory and American Indian Identity and Intellectualism," The International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, and "American Indian Geographies of Identity and Power: At the Crossroads of Indigena and Mestizaje," Harvard Educational Review. She has also peer-reviewed and edited articles including the special issue of Tensôes Mundias/Tensiones Mundales/World Tensions: The Political Economy of Natural Disasters (forthcoming in 2013) and the "Confessions of a Fulltime Indian" in the Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy (2011). Her current manuscript in progress is titled Pedagogy of the Dispossessed: Decolonization and the Struggle for Critical Democracy.
"Colonization can only disfigure the colonizer. It places him before an alternative having equally disastrous results; daily injustice accepted for his benefit on the one hand, and necessary, but never consummated self-sacrifice on the other. That is the situation with the colonizer who individually decays if he accepts, and repudiates himself if he refuses to accept."
- Albert Memmi, The Colonizer and the Colonized
"While the language of imperialism and colonialism have changed, the sites of struggle remain. The struggle for validity of indigenous knowledges may no longer be over the recognition that indigenous peoples have ways of viewing the world which are unique, but over proving the authenticity of, and control over our own forms of knowledge."
- Linda Tuhiwai Smith
"The first step to educate the people is to introduce them to the revolution. Never pretend you can help them conquer their rights by education alone, while they must endure a despotic government."
- Che Guevara
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