“The city challenges the content of learning at the Center. To ignore its stark contrast, to pass over the consequences of its power arrangements, to shrug off its reservoir of human expression, is to deny the sharp relief of its instructive texture. The city is the contemporary lesson on culture, history, and social arrangements. If self-directed experiential learning does not pry up the edges around the city and utilize the instruction of the city, it is not fulfilling the goal essential to the Chicago Center’s philosophy and reason for being."
This statement from a manifesto penned by Scott Chesebro during his first year with the Center in 1977, still fuels the mission of our organization today.
In his long journey with the Center, Scott's tremendous presence, vision, and leadership shaped the learning happening for our students. Through First Voice Pedagogy, Scott often took himself out of the role of instructor, introducing students to community leaders whose work provided a firsthand lesson in topics ranging from gentrification to youth violence. He made the various neighborhoods in the city, full of rich culture and history, a classroom and the voices within them instructors.
While Scott is retiring from his position with the Center, his work will live on in the ways we approach learning with students every day. The staff at the Chicago Center would like to thank him for his years of service, passion for this great city, and the lasting impact he's left on the program and the countless lives of students who have made Chicago their classrooms over the past 44 years.
We will leave you with Scott's words during his final wrap-up session with students.