July 18, 2016

Learning in Detroit



Natalie Davis, PhD Candidate, Educational Studies, University of Michigan

Nate Mullen, Director, Detroit Future Schools, Allied Media Projects

August 9 | 12:30-2 | Dearborn Room
Transportation from Ann Arbor to Detroit City Study:
Parking is available in the structure behind the Detroit Center and can be validated inside.

In this session, Natalie Davis and Nate Mullen will lead us in a discussion on learning in Detroit, through their shared but unique experiences of teaching elementary school children in the city of Detroit.  While Natalie will discuss the realities of carrying out her dissertation fieldwork involving two different Detroit schools, Nate will share the work of Detroit Future Schools to humanize education in Detroit, by activating students around important communal issues through a specially designed curriculum in multimedia projects.

This event is open to the public. Walk-ins welcome. RSVP preferred: shiras@umich.edu. Light lunch served.

Natalie R. Davis is a PhD candidate in Educational Studies at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Broadly, her research focuses on the relationship between urban schools, communities and social action, with special attention to whether and how critical school-based pedagogies work to facilitate the sociopolitical development of African American children. Natalie believes deeply in both the transformative potential of education and the necessity of bold, relentless justice work that continues to problematize static and disenfranchising schooling practices. At the University of Michigan, Natalie is recognized as a Bouchet Honor Society Member, Rackham Predoctoral Fellow, and Rackham Merit Fellow. Prior to graduate school, Natalie worked as a 3rd grade teacher in an African-centered school and continues to be inspired by the ingenuity and might of her students. She received her B.A. from Columbia University, and a M.A. in elementary teaching from Dominican University. Natalie is a proud native Detroiter who remains active in her hometown via her research and regular volunteer work in local schools. 

Nate Mullen is the director of Detroit Future Schools. He is a proud graduate of Detroit Public Schools and the University of Michigan School of Art and Design. His work thrives at the intersection of art, design and education. For 10 years, Nate has worked in classrooms across Southeast Michigan, leading student media investigations which have included everything from stop motion videos about Newton’s Laws to infographics on the complexities of global economics. All of these projects are the result of working closely with teachers and students to integrate digital media into the core curriculum of a classroom. Nate was one of the founding DFS artist in residence in 2011 and became the program’s director in 2014.