News / Insights

A message to the community from Christina Pei, Network Manager:

To every individual who has ever been a part of the Chicago Learning Exchange, through its many iterations throughout the years, I am most excited in my new role to get to know each of you, to share our collective dreams, and work to enact a more just and equitable future.

As someone who has worked across multiple contexts in education over the years--as a public school math teacher, a PD specialist, an instructor and mentor in OST spaces, a program director and grassroots community organizer, a researcher--I approach this role with an appreciation of the rewarding joys and challenging tensions across all areas of educational work.

Over the last seven years, I worked on my doctorate in Learning Sciences at Northwestern University, while organizing and hosting Chicago’s largest annual making festival. And I’ve struggled to make sense of the tensions between my research identities and my activist-practitioner identities. My work seeks to disrupt boundaries. My research focuses on the design of equity-centered learning spaces for young people, whether in a classroom working to dissolve the artificial boundaries between mathematics, art, and inquiry; or in a teen makerspace attending to the cultural, historical, and political selves young people bring to the process of making.

I see my role at CLX at the intersection of research and practice. I strive to build bridges that facilitate research-practice partnerships between our many programs and local research institutions, because we feed off one another. I hope to access our collective agency in creating and reshaping educational structures that better serve all youth in Chicago--centering our work in dignity, equity, and justice. I seek to honor and shine a light on the work you’ve been doing all along to build better futures.

Please connect, reach out, question:

In solidarity,
Christina Pei
Network Manager
Chicago Learning Exchange (CLX)