"I Guess I Just Realized How Tired I Had Become": In Defense of Insurgent Pedagogy

  • Brian Gibbs University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Keywords: Critical Pedagogy, Social Justice, Democracy


This manuscript details how four self-described justice-oriented teachers, teaching social studies in urban schools maintained, defended, and expanded their teaching in unsupported environments. All four teachers are veteran educators who teach intentionally chose their school sites deliberately and can all be labeled activist educators, though one uncomfortably. Taken from a larger 5 year study, this article seeks to describe the actions taken by four teachers during the first two years of the study who teach in similar socio-economic, geographic and school spaces and who all attended the same justice oriented teacher education program. These four teachers prove that it is possible to teach for social justice in unsupportive schools but also indicate that are costs. These costs raise serious questions about the sustainability of their efforts over time.

Author Biography

Brian Gibbs, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Brian Gibbs is an Assistant Professor of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill