William Ayers

William
Ayers

Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar

University of Illinois Chicago

Can Public Schools Be Saved (and Should They Be)?

Bill Ayers is a school reform activist and Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is founder of the Center for Youth and Society and founder and co-director of the Small Schools Workshop. He teaches courses in interpretive and qualitative research, urban school change, and teaching and the modern predicament.  A graduate of the University of Michigan, the Bank Street College of Education, Bennington College, and Teachers College, Columbia University, Ayers has written extensively about social justice, democracy and education, the cultural contexts of schooling, and teaching as an essentially intellectual, ethical, and political enterprise. He is currently the vice-president of the curriculum division of the American Educational Research Association, and a member of the executive committee of the UIC Faculty Senate. His books include Race Course: Against White Supremacy (Third World Press 2008 - written with Bernardine Dohrn), Teaching Toward Freedom: Moral Commitment and Ethical Action in the Classroom (Beacon Press, 2004), A Kind and Just Parent: The Children of Juvenile Court (Beacon Press, 1997), Fugitive Days: A Memoir (Beacon Press, 2001, 2008), On the Side of the Child: Summerhill Revisited (Teachers College Press, 2003), Teaching the Personal and the Political: Essays on Hope and Justice (Teachers College Press, 2004), The Good Preschool Teacher: Six Teachers Reflect on Their Lives, (Teachers College Press, 1989), and To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher (Teachers College Press, 1993), which was named Book of the Year in 1993 by Kappa Delta Pi and won the Witten Award for Distinguished Work in Biography and Autobiography in 1995.