Dr. Lisa Arrastia

Assistant Professor, Education

Lisa Arrastia headshot
(413) 662-5381
Mark Hopkins Hall


Ph.D., University of Minnesota

M.Ed., National Louis University

M.A., Antioch University

Courses Taught

EDUC 720, Fall 2020

EDUC 719, Fall 2020

EDUC 414/644, Fall 2020

EDUC 422/650, Fall 2020

CCS 269, Spring 2021

About Me

In all of my work, I focus on generating empathic communities where young people and educators have the freedom to think, question, and innovate as they wrestle with the tangled complexities of self, other, and difference.

Description of Special Projects/Activities

Originally from New York City, I am engaged in community work in the City and in upstate NY. My experience teaching and leading schools spans cities nationally and globally and many years. I am the President of the Board of Directors for Kite's Nest in Hudson, NY, a center for liberatory education and an executive advisory board member of NYU’s PACH (Project for the Advancement of our Common Humanity) in Manhattan. I taught grades 9-12 in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Chicago while also serving as a senior leader as the Director of Diversity, Community Outreach and the Founding Director of the Office of Public Purpose at an independent school in Chicago. I have served as a middle school and a high school principal in NYC, and I founded and led a high school in Chicago. My commitment to writing as a way to think through, to process, to muddle, and to interrupt notions of difference allowed me to become one of the first of several writing scholars and rhetoricians to teach in University of Albany’s (State University of New York) Program in Writing and Critical Inquiry. I was honored to help shape and teach in the program for five years as a full-time lecturer while also serving as the University Chair of the Curriculum and Honors Committee of the Undergraduate Academic Council. My work as a consultant in independent, public, and international schools nationally and globally continues, and I can’t imagine not working to support and design constructivist, emotionally responsive education using writing to process thinking.

I am a consulting editor for the peer-reviewed journal Schools, and the Founding Director of The Ed Factory, a project using the art of social engagement to transform the educational process and challenge social categories of difference. This project involves designing and facilitating professional development experiences, collaborative community projects, and creative, youth-led programs for young people, families, educators, schools, and community-based organizations. I am a designer and lead facilitator for The Ed Factory’s Teachers Institute, a professional development program building a network of critical educators committed to creative, democratic classrooms, and I co-facilitate, with youth, the Ed Factory’s Young People's Archive (YPA), a digital archive using audioethnography and emerging media to train young people and adults to recognize and record how individuals and communities experience the crisis of connection and to critically examine the social and economic conditions that (re)produce racial, gendered, and social class injustice and trauma with the hope of generating healing. YPA was recently accepted by the East Side Freedom Library in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Research/Creative Interests

My fields of concentration are audioethnography, critical childhood studies, and critical race theory. My scholarship investigates the pedagogies of culture, racial capitalism, masculinity, and the intersections of race, social class, place, and school.


Arrastia, Lisa. “Love Pedagogy: Disrupting the Contemporary Education Economy.” Overland 231. Winter 2018.

Arrastia, Lisa “Love Pedagogy: Teaching to Disrupt.” In The Crisis of Connection: Roots, Consequences, and Solutions. Edited by Niobe Way, Alisha Ali, Carol Gilligan, and Pedro Noguera, 231-250. New York: NYU Press, 2018.

Arrastia, Lisa. “Love Pedagogy.” Huff Post (18 April 2016).

Arrastia, Lisa. “The Bridge Back: Chris Johnson and the Art of Social Engagement.” Exposure: The Journal of the Society for Photographic Education 47.1 (spring 2014).

Arrastia, Lisa. Review of A Curriculum of Imagination in an Era of Standardization: An Imaginative Dialogue with Maxine Greene and Paulo Freire, by Robert Lake. Teachers College Record (14 March 2014).

Arrastia, Lisa and Marvin Hoffman. Starting Up Critical Lessons from 10 New Schools. New York: Teachers College Press, 2012.

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See Lisa’s CV for additional publications and information.