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Guest Speakers

John Taylor Gatto

Retired American schoolteacher John Gatto was named New York City Teacher of the Year in 1989, 1990, and 1991, and New York State Teacher of the Year in 1991 before his retirement from the profession that same year, when he announced that he could no longer, in his own words, “hurt kids to make a living.” He then began a career writing and speaking about homeschooling and the problems with compulsory education, traveling all over the US and internationally to do so. Gatto is currently producing 3 parts of a 4-part documentary entitled The Fourth Purpose, which critically examines the institution of school by identifying existing problems, providing their historical context, and suggesting tactics to address these problems.

Notable written works:
• Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling (1992)
• The Exhausted School (1993)
• A Different Kind of Teacher: Solving the Crisis of American Schooling (2000)
• The Underground History of American Education (2001)
• Against School: How Public Education Cripples Our Kids, and Why (2003)
• Weapons of Mass Instruction (forthcoming)

More info at http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/

Matt HernDynamic and captivating speaker Matt Hern holds a Ph.D in Urban Studies, and writes and lectures throughout North America on the topics of both Urban Studies and Education. He co-founded and currently operates the Purple Thistle Centre, a youth-oriented, collectively-run drop-in, arts, and activism space in EastVancouver, which also refers to itself as a “deschool.”

Notable written works:
• Deschooling Our Lives (editor; 1996)
• Field Day: Getting Society Out of School (2003)
• Watch Yourself: Why Safer Isn’t Always Better (2007)

More info at http://mightymatthern.com/

Cindy Milstein
Cindy Milstein is a co-organizer of the annual Renewing the Anarchist Tradition conference, a board member with the Institute for Anarchist Studies, and a member of the Free Society Collective and Black Sheep Books collective in Montpelier, Vermont. For many years, she taught at the “anarchist summer school” known as the Institute for Social Ecology, an independent institution of higher education in Vermont that incorporates directly democratic and non-hierarchical politics into its own structure and operation. Her work appears in anti-authoritarian periodicals and the following anthologies:

• Globalize Liberation: How to Uproot the System and Build a Better World (2004)
• Confronting Capitalism: Dispatches from a Global Movement (2004)
• Only a Beginning: An Anarchist Anthology (2004)
• Realizing the Impossible: Art Against Authority (2007)

More info at http://www.anarchiststudies.org/

David NobleA professor at York University, David Noble is a long time critic of the commercialization of Universities. He is best known for his opposition to the corporate take over of post-secondary campuses and administrations. Notable also is his Palestinian solidarity work as well as his criticism of technology as an educational tool.

He had co-founded the National Coalition for Universities in the Public Interest in 1983 and the York Public Access (an alternative to York University’s media relations) in 2005. Over the past few decades though, his fight against the continual corruption of post-secondary administrators has been faced with an all out war in return. This has led to a settlement reached with Simon Fraser University for their denial of his candidacy for the J.S. Woodsworth Chair in 2001 in-spite overwhelming faculty support.

Notable Writen Works:
* America By Design: Science, Technology, and the Rise of Corporate Capitalism (1977)
* Forces of Production: A Social History of Industrial Automation (1990)
* Progress Without People: In Defense of Luddism (1993)
* The Religion of Technology: The Divinity of Man and the Spirit of Invention (1997)
* Digital Diploma Mills: The Automation of Higher Education (2001)
* Beyond the Promised Land: The Movement and the Myth (2005)

More info at: http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue3_1/ noble/

Tara Guenette, Chair of the Miss G_ Project for Equity in Education’s Ottawa/Carleton Chapter, is currently completing her B.A. Honours in Law with a minor in Women’s Studies at Carleton University. She is Metis, and hails from a small town in Northwestern Ontario. Tara’s interests in her field of study include gender differences within the law, with a particular interest in gendered and racialized discrimination within the law and society in general. Passionate about feminism, government and politics, as well as her family and friends, Tara plans on furthering her studies by doing graduate work at the Masters level.

Julie Lalonde is co-chair of the Miss G_ Project’s Ottawa Chapter. With a B.A. Honours in Women’s Studies and Canadian Studies, she is currently a master’s candidate in Canadian Women’s Studies at Carleton University. Julie is also a collective member of Ottawa’s Sexual Assault Support Centre and a mentor with Big Brother Big Sister Ottawa. She is personally interested in promoting accessible feminism and is passionate about academia as a tool for social change.

The Miss G__ Project works to promote equity in education, to combat sexism and homophobia through education, and to encourage active citizenship. The Project’s current mission is to get a Women’s and Gender Studies course into the Ontario Secondary School curriculum. Equity in education is a policy commitment of the curriculum, but without recognizing gender and its implications, the curriculum fails to meet this commitment. We spend our years of mandatory formal education without ever encountering a critical study of gender and sexuality. In high school, we never encountered a fair and appropriate introduction to the very real contributions and histories of women and feminisms.More information at: http://www.themissgproject.org/



1. Frida - September 23, 2007

I Can’t wait!
This conference is going to inspire some phenomenal discussions, I’m sure!

2. Mariana Abeid-McDougall - September 30, 2007

Where is the conference taking place? I.e. in what buildings and room sat U of O?


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