About Refuse to Accept a Cultural War in Education

Dear Ones,

We are excited to share that our book “Do Your Lessons Love Your Students? Creative Education for Social Change” will be released by Routledge Publishing this September 20th. 

Over the past two years Jessa and I have spent early mornings, late nights and weekends putting our decades-long practices in teaching through the arts and creativity into the written word.  We are both humbled by the process and incredibly proud.  

When we look around, we can easily see evidence of book & curricular bans that don’t love our students, unsafe schools that don’t love our children, and a political landscape that doesn’t honor the sacred role of teachers.  We at Studio Pathways are creating an expansive series of actions to counter the depletion of these critical learning spaces…and we have an actionable plan for the path forward: 

  1. Get the book in front of educators across the state of California. This means schools, districts and counties, pre-service teachers in credentialing programs, teacher leaders, and invested educators wanting more than the current legacy of inequities in policies, funding, and curriculum. 

  2. Support schools with a team of facilitators providing professional learning and leadership coaching towards this vision. We’ve spent the last several years piloting and developing a pathway for implementation, which research has proven successful in creating social change outcomes.  

  3. Amplify the wisdom of teachers and artists.  Help us center the role of teachers and artists as key to societal change for a more just and equitable world.  As the far right pushes back on access to holistic education for all of our students in a culture war, we can meet it together with a framework for love-based education, centered in creativity and the arts. 

We need you! This moment needs you! This book needs you! This book is a powerful antidote, and in order for the world of education to take it on, it needs support to get it out there and into the places it can have the most impact. Studio Pathways has everything necessary to meet the moment, and now we are looking to grow resources so that our services can more fully support "Do Your Lessons Love Your Students?" in its message and call to action. Studio Pathways has developed the pedagogy, an exceptional success rate, local and national partnerships, the theory and the practices, and brilliant teachers, artists and cultural leaders waiting to be a part of our facilitation team. What is needed now is the funding to put it into action at a scale that meets the moment.

"Do Your Lessons Love Your Students" shows what it means to let the arts lead us to unexpected healing places - the place learners deserve to explore. -Susie Wise, Author of Design for Belonging: How to Build Inclusion and Collaboration in Your Communities.

Will you be a part of our Studio Pathways team of benefactors? We consider you to be a key partner in the urgent transformations vital to turning the tide. Let us leap together into a beautiful vision for schools, organizations, institutions, communities and cultures. Our collective vision is filled with love…love that looks like teaching for creative and liberatory thinking and leading for cultures of care.

Excerpt from Do Your Lessons Love Your Students: Creative Education for Social Change

“Do Your Lessons Love Your Students? is a vision for a just and creatively inspired society. It is a guidepost for social imagination pointing us toward vibrant schools where children expand creative and critical thought.  It is a call to action to remove the violations on the human spirit and rigid conditions that are currently ingrained in much of schooling.  It is a gentle nudge to recreate systems, structures, policies, curricula, lessons, and methodologies. 

Educational philosopher Maxine Greene (1995) spoke of the role of social imagination in creating social change.  Without a social imagination, we may fall into ingrained beliefs and patterns and carry out dull expectations for what’s ahead.  Aligning our thinking towards a brighter vision involves taking actions to repair a past that has not served us, and invoking methodologies that will activate creative potential in our children. 

When a caterpillar goes through metamorphosis, the entire contents of its body liquifies and becomes a soft mass.  It is the role of the imaginal cells that survive the disintegration process to grow into the form required to make a butterfly a butterfly.  At first, imaginal cells are seen as threatening to the caterpillar, but eventually the butterfly emerges. Many agree that there is currently a necessary disintegration of much of what education has been before. What is the potential for education if we participate as imaginal cells do?”  

We humbly believe that the release of "Do Your Lessons Love Your Students?" is not just about a book; it is a catalyst for change. We invite you to join us on this transformative journey, to be part of the movement that reshapes the future of learning. Together, we can create a world where education thrives, students are truly seen and loved, and teachers are cherished for their invaluable role.

Thank you for considering our invitation and for your support in advance. Let's create this path together towards a brighter and more compassionate future.

With boundless gratitude and unwavering hope,

Mariah and Jessa