Alumni Spotlight: Andrew Maguire (MPA 2018)
For the past year, Andrew Maguire (MPA 2018) has been working on his upcoming book Teaching Between the Lines, which focuses on the role of youth development organizations in revealing the “hidden curriculum.” Teaching Between the Lines explores educational inequality by interrogating the “hidden curriculum”--the collection of unstated norms, expectations, language, and behaviors that are rewarded in the American educational system. In the book, Maguire delves into the idea that a major part of the American educational experience is often unseen because of this hidden curriculum, which creates a powerful barrier to entry, particularly for individuals from underrepresented backgrounds. In the book, Maguire details the powerful roles youth development organizations play in helping to translate and shape that curriculum, reflecting on the path that has informed the creation of the hidden curriculum, and ways to diminish its influence moving forward.
Inspired by his personal and professional experiences, Maguire learned about the hidden curriculum firsthand growing up as a first-generation American. While acknowledging the privileges he was afforded, he notes that his parents didn’t fully grasp how different the UK and US educational systems were, which led him to recognize the complicated nature of the education space as a student. Professionally, Maguire has worked within the global education sector, and specifically within youth development spaces. As a professional, he’s grappled with the question of how to make the path to success within the education sphere less opaque to create a more equitable and accessible educational system for students abroad. Teaching Between the Lines aims to reflect on those same questions domestically.
Maguire hopes that the book drives more attention to the role that youth development organizations play in the education sphere. Despite the prevalence of these organizations, Maguire found there is very little attention paid to the work they are doing. Maguire brings a critical lens to his work, but he also hopes to shed light on the incredible work youth development organizations are doing, often with very few resources. His hope is that the book will start a larger conversation about the various stakeholders within the education sector that can make our educational systems work better, and more transparently, for every student.
In addition to his broader hope for the book, Maguire reflects on the impact that his time at Wagner had on his writing. From his reflections on how individuals can personally pursue and advocate for change to questions of incrementalism versus radical change, the Wagner experience plays out in his exploration of the hidden curriculum. He says:
“So much of the book is informed by my Wagner experience. The last half of the book is all about what to actually do about the problem and that's very much a Wagner mentality. It’s always a step past simply introducing and analyzing a problem. My time at Wagner shaped the way I want to make change, and this book is just a small way that I hope to have that influence.”
For more information about Andrew and Teaching Between the Lines, view his alumni profile.