Jonathan Kozol, a man who describes himself as one who bears witness to the plight of children, will discuss the realities of public education that prompted him to publish his latest work, Letters to a Young Teacher. Kozol’s collected correspondence to a teacher known as Francesca shed continuing light on the conflicts and possibilities that influence public education, and reveals the mentoring and support that is essential for young teachers.
Born in Boston in 1936, Kozol attended Harvard before beginning his teaching career in a freedom school in Boston’s Roxbury community. His first book, Death at an Early Age: The Destruction of the Hearts and Minds of Negro Children in the Boston Public Schools (1967) was based on his experiences in the classroom and won the National Book Award. Kozol’s subsequent publications include Illiterate American (1980), Rachel and Her Children: Homeless Families in America (1988), Savage Inequalities (1991), Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation (1995), and Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America (2005).
Kozol’s most recent work, Letters to a Young Teacher (2007) continues his lifelong efforts to think aloud about the high stakes of public education and the potential of students and their teachers. Kozol has been hailed by leading public figures and prestigious organizations for his advocacy on behalf of children. The human rights activist Elie Wiesel, who characterizes Kozol’s work as a “noble” struggle, insists that “what [Kozol] says must be heard” and that the educator’s “outcry must shake our nation out of its guilty indifference.”
Date: Friday, November 2, 2007
Time: 7:30 pm, Book signing to follow
Speaker: Jonathan Kozol
Place: Gamble Auditorium, Art Building, Mount Holyoke College
Admission: Free and open to the public