Benson

Keith Eric Benson

Teacher/Education Program Specialist, Camden City School District
Areas of Expertise:
  • K-12 Education
  • School Reform
  • Cities & Regions

About Keith

Benson’s areas of expertise are in urban schooling and critical pedagogies, urban education reform policy, and school choice within contemporary urban redevelopment. Further, within a standpoint theory framework, he is also very interested in eliciting and highlighting the voices of forgotten urban community members impacted by both urban redevelopment and the education reforms that accompany it. Additionally, as an urban education researcher and activist, he is an active member of local activist civic groups Save Camden Public Schools, Black Lives Matter-Camden, New Jersey Communities United and the Camden County NAACP.

Podcast

Publications

"It’s the Worst Place to Live: Urban Youth and the Challenge of School-Based Civic Learning" (with Beth C. Rubin and Brian Hayes). Theory Into Practice 48, no. 3 (2009): 213-221.

Addressed the challenges and opportunities to trying to engage urban students, whose neighborhoods have largely been abandoned by government institutions, to become more civically engaged.

"Better for Whom? Current and Prospective Camden Resident’s Perspectives on State-Imposed Renaissance Charter Schools and Recent Camden Redevelopment," Rutgers University, Graduate School of Education, 2016.

Seeks to better understand and highlight the views of prospective and current Camden residents’ views of state-imposed charter schools proliferating throughout the city during a time of simultaneous redevelop efforts.

"Publishing as Social Capital: Building Community with Digital Tools" (with Stephen Danley and Thomas Dahan). Journal of Scholarly Publishing 48, no. 2 (2017): 76-89.

Examines the ways in which digital media like blogging and social media can aid activists who are ordinarily easily ignored, to advance their efforts and connect with other like-minded activists.

"Take It to the Streets: Camden Residents Speak on Their Expectations of City Public School Teachers beyond the School House" in Teaching with an Attitude: Principled Resistance Past and Present, edited by Doris Santoro and Lizbeth Cain.

Communicates the need for urban teachers, especially black and Latino teachers, to become active partners in community social justice struggles outside of the classroom setting. 

"They Don't Really Know Camden High: Student Perspectives on Their Negatively Viewed High School" in Re-Authoring Savage Inequalities: Counter-Narratives of Striving and Success in Urban Education, edited by Lori Davis Patton, Raquel Farmer Hinton, Ishwanzya Rivers & Joi D Lewis.

Explores how silenced urban students find value and excellence within their high school that is often considered deficient and “failing."

In the News

"Greetings from Scamden," Keith Eric Benson, National Education Policy Center, March 6, 2014.
"School Fight about Gentrification," Keith Eric Benson, Courier Post, November 25, 2015.
"Union Relations, International Teacher Solidarity, and Other Public Education Topics," Keith Eric Benson (with Dr. Lois Weiner), Interview with Kitty Kelly Epstein, Education Today, April 22, 2016.
"Restore Residents’ Control of Camden’s Schools," Keith Eric Benson, Courier Post, June 23, 2016.
Keith Eric Benson quoted in Brenda Flanagan, "Camden’s Murder Rate More Than Doubled for 2016" NJTV News, July 29, 2016.
"Residents Must Fight Camden High School Plan," Keith Eric Benson, Courier Post, October 24, 2016.
"Gentrification Threatening Beloved Camden and Oakland High Schools," Keith Eric Benson (with Kharyshi Wiginton), Interview with Kitty Kelly Epstein, Education Today, November 11, 2016.