stephanie jones

what is an engaged intellectual?

i believe that an engaged intellectual is someone who is intensely curious about the world around her, constantly in the act of researching people, herself, and the politics of social interactions and injustices, working as an educator either formally or informally to bring people together for reasons of solidarity, and consciously merging “intellectual” theory and everyday practice in life/pedagogy to work for social change.

i know many teachers who resist the institutional push to create artificial boundaries between what teachers and students know about the injustices of the world outside of school and what teachers and students are supposed to do inside the walls of the classroom. transforming those boundaries into spaces where lives and pedagogies are constructed together in ways that work for social justice is something that can lead to powerful possibilities.

  1. This is a place where former students, current students, and fabulous colleagues can come together to share, question, ramble, and consider critical encounters in education and society. “Engaged Intellectuals” refers to a subject position I believe is available for all educators to merge life and pedagogy as they work for social justice in the classroom, community, and world around us. I hope we can find a way to create a valuable and sustainable network of folks who need support and are energized by knowing that they are not alone.

  2. so glad you did this, steph! and i’m excited to be a part of this thinking, sharing, inquiring community.

  3. I look forward to reading your blog!
    Peggy Semingson

  4. I love your definition of engaged intellectual. I found this website through Teachers-Pay-Teachers, where I’ve just posted my second document, “Veterans’Interest Unit,” a composition unit with how-to-do-it mixed with model essays.
    Please give me feedback to my worry. In a riverboat gamble move, I included Analysis of a Favorite Song, “Dissident Aggressor,” by Judas Priest and Trooper2, short story that I based on the Iron Maiden song. In the preface, I noted that heavy metal introduced “good soldier,not war criminal lyrics to modern music yet faces more criticism than the flag burners of the sixties.” I used pictures from the more conservative articles, such as My Favorite Job: Tank Driver in the Bosnian Conflict for the previews.
    Tell me if you think I’ve created too wild of a unit and could be viewed as backing the subhuman through inclusion of the two HR/HM essays. I’m from a conservative area, so maybe it wouldn’t seem that weird elsewhere.

  5. I am a parent and strong education advocate in the Fremont Unified School District (Fremont, CA). I occasionally blog on The Daily Kos; as well as some other local blogs for children and education. I am writing today as a representative of Save Our Schools March ( ) to ask you on Monday, February 14 to write something about why you love education and possibly include a link to our march and rally in DC this July.
    The message we want to get out to as many people on Valentine’s Day is that everyone who cares about young people also cares about our schools. Our best schools nurture our children; make them feel safe and able to take the risks they need to in order to learn. But our schools are in danger of becoming even more narrowly focused on test preparation; while class sizes rise and teachers are blamed for the ravages poverty inflicts on their students.

    We are responding. We love our schools. We declare Valentine’s Day, 2011, to be I Love Public Education Blog Day. On this day we will write our hearts out, about why it is that public education is so important to us, our children, and our democratic society. If you or your readers will join us and tell why you love public education too, send your comments and posts to

    Writing will be displayed at the website, and will be tweeted with the hashtag #LovePublicEd. We offer the march and events of July 28 to 31st in Washington, DC, as a focal point for this movement, and we ask participants to link to this event, so we can build momentum for our efforts. If your readers wish to repeat this post on their own blog, we would love it. We would love if you could our graphic to indicate that this is part of our campaign.

    If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at .

    • Thanks for this information Gail! I’ve watched what’s going on a little with SOS and will continue to publicize it and do what I can to support the movement. My undergraduates are super inspired to organizing car pools and bus trips to D.C. in July!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: