Brooke Toczylowski is a visual artist and educator. Toczylowski uses her studio practice as a tool to better understand her personal identity and role in relation to systems of oppression (i.e. public schools). In particular, she seeks to understand her layered relationship as a white teacher in communities of color so that she can be a more grounded, more informed educator. Ultimately, the aim of her personal artwork is to provoke questions and inspire change—in herself, and others.

Brooke is an Integrated Learning Specialist and Instructional Coach with the Oakland Unified School District. She works with the Agency By Design Oakland Team to infuse public schools with maker centered learning opportunities. Agency by Design is an action research project with Project Zero, an initiative of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. Brooke also teaches in Alameda County’s Integration Learning Specialist Program where she teaches Project Zero’s teaching and thinking frameworks, including Teaching for Understanding, Studio Habits of Mind, and Making Learning Visible.

Below Brooke speaks on a panel at the conference Project Zero Perspectives: Making, Thinking, and Understanding, Lick-Wilmerding High School, San Francisco, CA, USA (October 10-12, 2014)


Brooke was formally an arts and technology teacher at Oakland International High School. In 2014 she was recognized with “Another Great Oakland Teacher” Award for her design of curriculum that focuses on students’ social and emotional wellness.  From 2008 to 2012, Brooke worked at Youth in Arts, Marin County’s largest arts education organization, where she helped develop a sequential arts program in the Sausalito Marin City School District for grades K-8, greatly impacting the schools’ interest and capacity for arts integration practices. Brooke is the Arts Specialist mentioned in the video below, and “Devon” was her art student.  [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8nOHFlg4ns[/youtube]

Before working in US schools Brooke worked in 2006 with ArtCorps where she collaborated with an environmental youth group in rural Guatemala. Click here to see some her projects in Guatemala. And in 2004-05 she lived in Venezuela, where she partnered with an AIDS-awareness organization to improve sex education outreach.