Gesu School hosted its 22nd Annual Symposium on Transforming Inner-City Education on November 1, 2019. As a national model for inner-city education, Gesu School remains at the forefront of identifying new ways to better serve students across the country and sharing these key learnings.
The 2019 symposium featured Pedro Noguera, Distinguished Professor of Education at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and Faculty Director for the Center for the Transformation of Schools at UCLA. Noguera is the author of eleven books and over 200 articles and monographs. He appears as a regular commentator on educational issues on CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio, and other national news outlets. He has served as a tenured professor and held endowed chairs at NYU, Harvard, and UC Berkeley.
Noguera presented on achieving equity and excellence in education to nearly 200 attendees from the tri-state region—educational leaders, teachers, community members, and supporters of urban education. His keynote called for transformation: "The challenge is how do we begin to change the conversation on education? We have to talk about equity."
Connecting students’ achievement to their well-being, Noguera advocates for “address[ing] the social and emotional needs of students.” According to Noguera, schools must help students forge skills in key areas, such as impulse control, empathy, and kindness. He recognizes the need for schools to include staff such as social workers and counselors, trained to support students. “When we focus on equity, we see the whole child,” notes Noguera.
Noguera encouraged educators to emphasize teaching and learning over testing. Motivating students and engaging their innate “power of curiosity” are key factors in driving success. “We should be teaching kids the way they learn, instead of expecting them to learn the way we teach,” he states.
For Noguera, critical to improving schools is building relationships between teachers and students, and among students themselves. He also challenges teachers to immerse themselves in the “creative work” of teaching and to collaborate with each other.
Audience members engaged the speaker following the presentation, while David Hardy, Executive Director of Excellent Schools PA, moderated a thought-provoking discussion. Gesu School hopes that the symposium will prompt a wider conversation on how to improve education in all of America’s urban schools. The 2019 symposium was generously supported by Presenting Sponsor, The Maguire Foundation, as well as Glenmede, Commonwealth Foundation, Craig & Sandy White, and James J. Clearkin, Inc.
See event photos below and on Gesu School’s Facebook page.
Learn more about past symposia and view video and transcripts.
Pedro Noguera, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Education at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and Faculty Director for the Center for the Transformation of Schools at UCLA, delivers the keynote address on social justice and education at the 2019 Gesu symposium.
Keynote Pedro Noguera, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Education, and moderator David Hardy, Executive Director, Excellent Schools PA, engage in conversation about equity in education at the 2019 Gesu symposium.
The Gesu Gospel Choir, led by Choir Director H.L. Ratliff, inspired the audience, singing "Everybody Clap Your Hands" by Percy Gray.
At Gesu School’s 22nd Annual Symposium on Transforming Inner-City Education are (left to right): Bryan Carter, Gesu School President and CEO; Sr. Stephen Anne Roderiguez, IHM, Gesu Board Member; Megan Maguire Nicoletti, President and CEO, The Maguire Foundation (Presenting Sponsor); Pedro Noguera, Ph.D., keynote speaker and Distinguished Professor of Education at the Graduate School of Education at UCLA; and moderator David Hardy, Executive Director, Excellent Schools PA
Photos by Edward Savaria
Thank you to Gesu School's generous 2019 symposium sponsors!
Craig & Sandy White
James J. Clearkin, Inc.
Gesu School launched its Annual Symposium on Transforming Inner-City Education in 1997 to bring together donors, stakeholders, policymakers, and educators to tackle the tough issues in urban education. From our first moderator, the late Tim Russert, to outstanding panelists like Stedman Graham, Joe Klein, and Paul Tough, the annual event brings together top thought leaders to stimulate productive conversation and empower educators and the community for our work in the field. In 2017, Gesu School received the inaugural Moral and Courageous Exemplar Urban Education Leadership Award from the Cabrini University Center for Urban Education, Equity, and Improvement for our commitment to hosting the Gesu symposium. The symposium is another way that Gesu School strives for the Magis.