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Frank Pignatelli

Interim Chair, Educational Leadership Dept

Academic Interests

Activist research, Educational leadership, Ethics, Philosophy of education, Politics of education, Urban school reform

Some of the Values that Shape My Work

As a progressive educator, my work is a matter of furthering an agenda for social justice. I want students to examine the role schools and other educational settings can play in cultivating democratic habits of mind and heart. For schooling to matter in this way, educators need to be professionally competent, politically astute, and have a reliable moral compass. I strive to listen thoughtfully to my students, learn about them as professionals and people, and engage with them in an ongoing conversation about this complex, challenging, vitally important, and satisfying work. I want every student to find ways to make a contribution that speaks powerfully and purposefully to this work.

Work with Families, Children, Schools, and Communities

The positions I have held before coming to Bank Street: junior high school teacher; school district and central administrator; school-university liaison; founding member, Board of Directors, Community Roots Charter School.

Recent Professional Contributions

Various small school reform initiatives; staff and leadership professional development on the middle school level.

Leadership and staff development: Ullens School, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Rethinking Communities of the 21st Century: “What Role for Schools? What Place for Educators?” Bank Street College Occasional Papers Public Forum, November 18, 2010.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Philosophy and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • M. Phil., Philosophy and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • M.A., Teaching of Social Studies, City College of New York, City University of New York
  • B.A., Major: Political Science, Minor: Education, City College of New York, City University of New York

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • Pignatelli, F. (2015). Ethical leadership development as care of self: A Foucauldian perspective. Schools: Studies in Education, 12(2), 198-213.

  • Pignatelli, F. (2012). Staying true? Progressive leadership in tough times. Schools: Studies in Education, 8(2), 176-187.

  • Pignatelli, F. (2011). Being accountable: Why friendship, vulnerability, and forgiveness matter. Schools: Studies in Education, 8(2), 215-230.

  • Pignatelli, F. (2010). Everyday courage in the midst of standardization in schools. Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice, 23(2), 33-35.

  • Pignatelli, F. (2006). Forgiveness in progressive education. Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice, 19(3), 6-13.

  • Pignatelli, F. (2005). Student resistance and standardization in schools. Bank Street College Occasional Papers, 14, 50-61.

  • Pignatelli, F. (2002). Mapping the terrain of a Foucauldian ethics: A response to the surveillance of schooling. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 25, 157-180.

  • Pignatelli, F. (2000). Furthering a progressive agenda: Advisement and the development of educators. In N. Nager & E.K. Shapiro (Eds.), Revisiting a progressive pedagogy (pp. 221-238). Albany, NY: SUNY Press.

  • Pignatelli, F. (1999). Education and the subject of desire. The Review of Education/Pedagogy/Cultural Studies, 20(4), 337-352.

  • Pignatelli, F. (1997). Maxine Greene and the arousal of a passionate public. In W. Ayers & J. Miller (Eds.), A light in dark times: Conversations in relation to Maxine Greene (pp. 262-266). New York: Teachers College Press.

Contact me:

(212) 875-4710
610 West 112Th Street,
New York, NY 10025