Gund Affiliate, Professor Emerita, Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University

Kathleen Kesson is Professor Emerita of Teaching, Learning, and Leadership in the School of Education at the Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University.  While there Kathleen served as Department Chair and helped to develop innovative programming in urban teacher education dedicated to equity and cultural pluralism. Kathleen was a founding member of a campus-wide sustainability task force. Before joining LIU in 2002, Kathleen was the Education Program Director at Goddard College in Vermont, and the founding Director of the John Dewey Project on Progressive Education at the University of Vermont, a research and policy organization.  At UVM, Kathleen taught courses in critical pedagogy, curriculum theory, and educational foundations in the College of Education and Social Services.

Kathleen has written extensively in numerous academic journals about democracy and education, environmental education, teacher inquiry, unschooling, and spirituality and the arts in education. Her books include Curriculum Wisdom: Educational Decisions in Democratic Societies, Understanding Democratic Curriculum Leadership, Defending Public Schools: Teaching for a Democratic Society, and most recently, Unschooling in Paradise. Kathleen is currently working as a consultant for a foundation that funds progressive environmental, educational, and equity projects in Vermont.  Kathleen's current academic interests include post-Humanist philosophies, and developing theory and educational practice relevant to what some scholars have termed the “Anthropocene.” The pragmatic side of her brain focuses on the development of community schools in Vermont that could support resilience, regenerative agriculture, restorative economics, and decolonization, and the policy changes that are necessary to lead schools and communities into a “Just Transition.” Kathleen serves on a number of Vermont boards, including the Institute for Social Ecology (ISE), Vermont Learning for the Future (VTLFF), and the Community Engagement Lab (CEL).


Gund Affiliate Kathleen Keeson

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Democratic schools, environmental education, community schools


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