Dr. Joyce E. King, professor at Georgia State University, will give the free public lecture "What We Know and How We Know It" on February 25

Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Joyce King

UC Santa Barbara presents Dr. Joyce E. King, the Benjamin E. Mays Endowed Chair of Teaching, Learning, and Leadership at Georgia State University, giving the free public lecture “What We Know and How We Know It.” The event will be held in UCSB’s Pollock Theater at 5 pm on Monday, February 25. “As an African American educator, one of my main concerns is that we all need to be liberated from schooling that perpetuates America’s myths,” King has written. “One such myth that constrains our freedom of thought and our ability to pursue social justice concerns our national identity.” Her lecture will examine ways to break from these myths and imagine a transformative curriculum of K-16 education that is not racially biased and that is culturally enabling of all students. While visiting UCSB, Dr. King also will conduct a seminar for interested graduate students from the Department of Education and the Department of Black Studies Graduate Emphasis. Dr. King is being presented as the Black History Month Distinguished Lecturer for 2013.

Although the lecture is free, the organizers request an RSVP to help for event planning. Please do so to tara@education.ucsb.edu.  

Professor Judith Green, one of the coordinators of this event, says, “We, in the Department of Education at the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, are honored to have Dr. King, one of the pre-eminent researchers of issues of equity and justice in American education, share her research and vision with us during Black History Month.” 

Dr. King’s research deals with how mainstream American education resists “a critically transformative understanding of race and racial inequity” for human freedom and perpetuates a curriculum that alienates peoples of color from seeing themselves as co-constructors of knowledge. For example, in her early research, Dr. King noted that K-12 textbooks, lesson plans, and teacher education modules routinely start the history of Black people in slavery, not in Africa, and teach that Egypt is located in the Middle East or even Asia rather than in Africa. African-American learners are taught they have contributed nothing to the production of knowledge, and that abandonment of all Black cultural identity is key to their success in school. Her scholarship addresses a transformative role for culture in effective teaching and teacher preparation, Black Studies epistemology and curriculum theorizing, and community-mediated research.

She is noted for creating the concept dysconscious racism, which in a recent interview she said, “Describes the limited and distorted understandings that many people have about inequity and cultural diversity – understandings that make it difficult for them to promote truly equitable education. My work challenges students who are prospective teachers to examine what they know and believe about society, about diverse others and about their own actions. At the core, my work asks, ‘How are you going to educate the black and brown children who don’t look like the prototypical schoolchildren 50 years ago?’ It’s still difficult to navigate through all that.”

King, currently the Benjamin E. Mays Endowed Chair of Teaching, Learning and Leadership at Georgia State University, has had a distinguished career in academia, holding the titles of professor, provost, associate vice chancellor, director of teacher education, and department head at esteemed institutions such as Spelman College, the Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York, the University of New Orleans, Santa Clara University, Stanford University, and Mills College. She has published three books: Preparing Teachers for Cultural Diversity (Teachers College Press, 1997); Teaching Diverse Populations (SUNY Press, 1994); and Black Mothers to Sons: Juxtaposing African-American Literature with Social Practice (Peter Lang Publishing, 1995).

A native of California (Stockton), King has international experience teaching, lecturing, and providing professional development in Brazil (using Portuguese translations of her publications), Canada, England, Jamaica, New Zealand, and Senegal. She also served on California’s State Board of Education Curriculum Commission. King received her Ph.D. from Stanford University. In addition, she holds a certificate from the Harvard Institute in educational management.

Dr. Joyce E. King is presented by The Department of Black Studies Graduate Emphasis in conjunction with the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education.