On Teaching from the Knowledge in the Room

What does it look like for pedagogy to begin with the stories, hopes, and critiques that are already present in the classroom? How has this approach to education been practiced in movements for social transformation? What are its demands on teachers and learners? Stephen Preskill, teacher and author of Teaching in Black and White: Myles Horton and the Highlander Center’s Vision for Social Justice, talks these questions and much more in our January 2022 episode.


Stephen Preskill has taught in multiple institutional settings and an author who has written multiple books on teaching, learning, and movement-building. His most recent book is , Education in Black and White: Myles Horton and the Highlander Center’s Vision for Social Justice (2021). Other works include Stories of Teaching: A Foundation for Educational Renewal (with Robin Smith Jacobvitz), Skills for Democracy: Promoting Dialogue in Schools (with George G. Otero and Lois Vermilya), and three books with Stephen Brookfield, including Discussion as a Way of Teaching, The Discussion Book, and Learning as a Way of Leading: Lessons from the Struggle for Social Justice.

Stephen Preskill’s career as an educator began as a middle school teacher. He then became a special education coordinator, before earning a doctorate in American Education and taking a job as the Regents Professor at the University of New Mexico. He became the Distinguished Professor of Civic Engagement at Wagner College and then, as if he hadn’t done enough, earned an MFA in Nonfiction Writing at Columbia University, where he now serves as a writing consultant.

Special thanks to Aliyah Harris for audio editing and to Stephen Brookfield for providing the outro music.