What’s in a school? In this course, we will analyze various kinds of school stories, from children’s and young adult novels set in and around schools, to historical and sociological accounts of how educational practices have evolved over time, to teacher memoirs and pedagogical theory by pioneering educator-activists such as Maria Montessori, Paolo Freire, June Jordan, and Sandy Grande. In the process, we will study not just how schools function as positively transformative sites that enable emancipatory learning, but also as highly disciplinary and potentially oppressive spaces where equity issues related to class, gender, race and ethnicity, and (dis)ability often play out in disabling ways that must be recognized to be disrupted. Each week, we will meet together for seminar-style conversations that will focus not just on the fictional and nonfictional narratives about schooling we will be reading, but also on your experiences completing the required weekly lab component of this course, which offers you the opportunity to be matched up with a variety of MIT- or community-based youth outreach program, in order to work directly with young people and reflect on what that process adds to our shared understanding of what education is, what it’s for, and how it works.