Tom Kertes is a public-school teacher and an independent scholar in the philosophy and practice of education. His scholarship focuses on critical theories of education and colonialism.
Tom’s research explores ideas and processes for supporting students’ expansion of power through the praxis of respect, the expansion of human power through co-recognition of dignity. This is human rights education.
While Tom’s research seeks to help end all systems of dehumanization, marginalization, and oppression, he focuses on the alternatives to these forces as much as possible: Education as the expression of unconditional love, the fulfilment of human potential, and the recognition of dignity and respect for all.
To end poverty, racism, colonialism, sexism, and ableism requires alternatives – based on the social and economic justice of working across colour lines, over racial barriers, and past all divisions that threaten to keep communities apart from each other. The alternative to domination and control is love and dialogue; we support this alternative through community-based public education, for all.
The purpose of education is empowerment, through the shared production of knowledge and the rigours of critical scholarship, dignity, and respect. The promise of public education is the universal provision of, and access to, critical eduction.
Tom is a middle school teacher in Prince Rupert, located in the territory of the Gispaxlo’ots and Gits’iis of the Ts’msyen Nation, and he works with students who are majority Ts’msyen, Haida, Nisga’a, Gitxsan, or of another coastal or inland First Nation. Tom teaches Grade 7 students and Drama 8.
Tom was born in Ellensburg, WA, the territory of the Kittitas. His ancestors are Irish, German, Hungarian, and English. He immigrated to Canada from the United States in 2007, in response to the increasing human rights violations of the American government – including the illegal invasion of Iraq and the torture of Iraqis by American forces.
Tom currently lives in Prince Rupert in northern British Columbia with his husband Ron Braun. They immigrated to Canada together in 2007, were married at Toronto City Hall on their tenth anniversary in 2009, and are now both dual citizens of Canada and the United States.
Tom is a founding organizer of the Critical Education Project.
Learn more about Tom Kertes.