Democracy & Education
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Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 1085-3545 - ISSN (Online) 2164-7992
Published by Lewis and Clark [2 journals]
- What Makes Hope Possible. A Book Review of Strike for America: Chicago
Teachers Against Austerity
Authors: Amy B. Shuffelton
Abstract: This is a positive review of Strike for America, by Micah Uetricht.
PubDate: Fri, 11 Nov 2016 15:32:38 PST
- What Kind of Teacher for Our Citizens? A Book Review of What Kind of
Citizen? Educating Our Children for the Common Good
Authors: Tony DeCesare
Abstract: Westheimer’s central argument in What Kind of Citizen? Educating our Children for the Common Good is that the current climate around public education—marked, in general, by standardization in our schools—is not conducive to the development of thoughtful and critically engaged public citizens. Westheimer demonstrated convincingly that schools—in response to recent education reform and, in some cases, pressure from parents and other education stakeholders—have increasingly emphasized individual goals at the expense of educating children for the common good. Furthermore and related, in this age of standardized testing, school curricula have become more narrowly focused on achievement in math and literacy at the expense of the broader (and less testable) aims of citizenship education. Westheimer’s goal in this book was to chart a corrective course for our schools by focusing our attention on important questions about the kind of society we imagine, the kind of citizens we want our children to be, and the kind of educational programs required to develop such citizens. This is a sympathetic review that seeks to extend Westheimer’s thinking more explicitly to teacher education by asking what kind of teacher education programs we need in order to develop thinking, engaged citizen teachers.
PubDate: Fri, 11 Nov 2016 15:32:34 PST
- Democratic Rehearsals. A Book Review of Educating for Insurgency: The
Roles of Young People in Schools of Poverty
Authors: James Johnson
Abstract: This is a review of the book Educating for Insurgency: The Roles of Young People in Schools of Poverty, by Jay Gillen.
PubDate: Fri, 11 Nov 2016 15:28:26 PST
- When Theory Doesn't Necessarily Meet Practice. A Book Review of
Youth, Critical Literacies, and Civic Engagement: Arts, Media and Literacy
in the Lives of Adolescents
Authors: Matthew Goldwasser
Abstract: A book review of Youth, Critical Literacies, and Civic Engagement by T. Rogers, K.-L. Winters, M. Perry, and A.M. LaMonde. In Youth, Critical Literacies, and Civic Engagement, the authors presented three analytic vignettes from field work at three sites where youth employed either writing and publishing, filmmaking, or theater performance to make critical claims about their everyday lives and social issues that directly affect them. The authors used critical theory to link their empirical data to larger enterprises of resistance and counter narratives about how society views youth. They further posited that these efforts are examples of civic engagement. They were more successful in sketching out the expressions of critical literacy and public art than they were in linking said enterprises to larger political and social discourse and agency.
PubDate: Fri, 11 Nov 2016 15:28:22 PST
- The Changing Challenges of Transformational Resistance. A Response to
"Building the Dream: Transformational Resistance, Community-Based
Organizations, and the Civic Engagement of Latinos in the New South"
Authors: Edmund T. Hamann
Abstract: A long-time researcher of "education in the New Latino Diaspora" considers how ephemeral the demographic and sociopolitical contexts were for the endeavors captured in "Building the Dream" but concurs with the aptness of considering the five focal students’ participation in a local Spanish radio program as acts of transformational resistance (Solorzano & Delgado Bernal, 2001) with particular consequences for their sense of coming-of-age into a welcoming intergenerational Latino community.
PubDate: Fri, 11 Nov 2016 15:28:18 PST
- Band-Aids Don’t Fix Bullet Holes. A Response to “We Were There Too:
Learning from Black Male Teachers in Mississippi about Successful Teaching
of Black Students”
Authors: Melinda Jackson et al.
Abstract: Hayes, Juarez, and Escoffery-Runnels (2014) analyzed the educational philosophies and pedagogical practices of two educators to understand how personal and professional experiences individually and collectively influenced their approach to teaching. Using oral histories, they presented an argument of why culturally relevant and social justice–oriented teaching has historically been an effective tool in educating students of color, and why it is necessary for teacher preparation in today’s so-called post-racial climate. We suggest that that the education system is merely a microcosm of society, and consequently, we must consider structures larger than individual best practices when discussing culturally relevant teaching. Bridges to benefits are networks of White privilege that flow between institutions, such as education, the economy, and the law, and that involve capitalizing on the misery of Blacks while simultaneously protecting White supremacy. We use the “bridges to benefits” concept to propose that scholars not focus solely on education but rather focus on how social institutions in general are created and designed such that they continually oppress and suppress Black and Brown Americans. We draw special attention to America’s criminal justice system, labor, and housing market.
PubDate: Fri, 11 Nov 2016 15:28:13 PST
- Is Group Therapy Democratic? Enduring Consequences of Outward Bound’s
alignment with the Human Potential Movement. A Response to “How to Be
Nice and Get What You Want: Structural Referents of 'Self’ and
‘Other’ in Experiential Education as (Un)Democratic Practice."
Authors: Jayson Seaman
Abstract: Franklin Vernon provided an example of how programs viewing themselves as “cultural islands” are in fact embedded within historical capitalist relations, through the discourses of self that they promote. In this response, I expand on Vernon’s argument to situate the quasi-therapeutic practices he identified in the history of the human potential movement, which effectively merged with Outward Bound starting in the 1960s and continues to define outdoor experiential education. Where Vernon sought the structural referents to different models of self, this response seeks their historical origins. The response concludes by linking Vernon’s argument with existing critiques and parallel efforts in the literature on youth development and identity formation.
PubDate: Fri, 11 Nov 2016 15:28:09 PST
- Media Literacy as Mindful Practice for Democratic Education. A Response to
“Transaction Circles with Digital Texts as a Foundation for Democratic
Authors: Theresa Redmond
Abstract: This essay is a response to Brown’s (2015) article describing her strategy of transaction circles as a student-centered, culturally responsive, and democratic literacy practice. In my response, I provide further evidence from the field of media literacy education (MLE) that serves to enhance Brown’s argument for using transaction circles in order to promote democratic discourse, specifically augmenting her ideas by connecting the purposes and processes of transaction circles with key implications of media literacy pedagogy. I invite Brown to consider how her concept of transaction circles may be extended in three ways: (a) through acknowledging the indispensable role of the teacher, not the media or technology, in cultivating powerful learning opportunities for students; (b) through the inclusion of the broader contexts of message construction, language, ownership, and dissemination as part of critical media literacy; and (3) through the integration of media production as an essential aspect of media literacy. I conclude by proposing new questions related to critical media literacy education.
PubDate: Fri, 11 Nov 2016 15:28:06 PST
- Powerful Design Principles and Processes: Lessons from a Case of Ambitious
Civics Education Curriculum Planning. A Response to "Reinventing the High
School Government Course: Rigor, Simulations, and Learning from Text"
Authors: Todd Dinkelman
Abstract: In "Reinventing the High School Government Course," the authors presented the latest iteration of an ambitious AP government course developed over a seven-year design-based implementation research project. Chiefly addressed to curriculum developers and civics teachers, the article elaborates key design principles, provides a description of both the substance and structure of the course, and explains the pedagogical aims and practices of the course. I review this outstanding work by providing a discussion of what I think this research might do for the intended audience and close with a few considerations that extend the authors’ own questions and concerns about the course.
PubDate: Fri, 11 Nov 2016 15:28:01 PST
- Deliberative Democracy: A Contested Interactive Space. A Response to
"Deliberative Democracy in English Language Education: Cultural and
Linguistic Inclusion in the School Community"
Authors: Esperanza De La Vega
Abstract: This is a response to Liggett’s (2014) call to implement “deliberate democracy” in English language education classrooms. While the concept of participating in deliberate democracy is a solid ideal and worthy of pursuit, I present questions and scenarios that illustrate the complicated nature of the tasks. By sharing my testimonio along with the research, I propose that in order for teachers to guide their students' participation in deliberate democratic activities, they must step back and understand the context of the sociocultural interactive space created in the classroom and whether ELL students are able to and/or prepared to speak in an empowered way to engage in this contested interactive space.
PubDate: Fri, 11 Nov 2016 15:27:58 PST
- Going Beyond the Games with iCivics. A Response to “The Challenges of
Gaming for Democratic Education: The Case of iCivics”
Authors: Brooke Blevins et al.
Abstract: Stoddard, Banks, Nemacheck, and Wenska suggested that there is a tension between the goal of the iCivics games and the goals of democratic education. In this response, we suggest that iCivics can be utilized to help meet the goals of democratic education and to encourage our nation’s youth to become active civic participants if used alongside other instructional practices, such as Action Civics. We offer three important reasons for the use of iCivics as a tool for democratic education and engagement. Firstly, we describe the affordances of several other iCivics games not explored in Stoddard’s study as well as other elements of the iCivics program including lesson plans, impact points, and discussion boards. Secondly, we suggest that iCivics games should not be a stand-alone curriculum and describe ways to extend the iCivics games to inspire students to consider issues in their community and engage them in action civics. Thirdly, we describe the need for high quality professional development which is central in using iCivics games as part of a comprehensive civics curriculum. Our response extends the findings of Stoddard et al.’s study by suggesting ways educators can go beyond the games to utilize iCivics as a tool for democratic education.
PubDate: Fri, 11 Nov 2016 15:27:53 PST
- The Social and Emotional Components of Gaming. A Response to “The
Challenge of Gaming for Democratic Education”
Authors: Ellen Middaugh
Abstract: This response considers the role of video games in promoting the social and emotional aspects of civic education and engagement. Specifically, it discusses how design choices in iCivics and video games generally may impact students’ emotional responses to issues and other people, sense of internal efficacy, and social connectedness.
PubDate: Fri, 11 Nov 2016 15:27:49 PST
- Being Critical About Being Critical. A Response to "Toward a
Transformative Criticality for Democratic Citizenship Education"
Authors: Nicholas C. Burbules
Abstract: This response to "Toward a Transformative Criticality for Democratic Citizenship Education" takes a positive and supportive stance toward pressing the arguments forward. By focusing on the communicative components of democratic citizenship education and activist pedagogy, it highlights some of the tensions and difficulties of actually doing this work.
PubDate: Fri, 11 Nov 2016 15:27:45 PST
- Democratic Foundations for Spiritually Responsive Pedagogy
Authors: Audrey Lingley
Abstract: Spirituality has been identified as an important component of democratic education by influential scholars such as Dewey, Freire, hooks, and Noddings. However, many teachers in the United States do not engage openly with a framework for understanding, organizing, and integrating pedagogical knowledge of spirituality within the context of culturally conscious social justice education. Drawing from an analysis of the works of Dewey, Noddings, Freire, and hooks and using a critical construct of spirituality that emphasizes inquiry, practical experience, meaning making, and awareness of interconnectedness, I argue that spiritually responsive pedagogy is a vital element of emancipatory, culturally responsive education in public schools.
PubDate: Fri, 11 Nov 2016 15:27:42 PST
- The Cultural Contours of Democracy: Indigenous Epistemologies Informing
South African Citizenship
Authors: Patricia K. Kubow et al.
Abstract: Drawing upon the African concept of ubuntu, this article examines the epistemic orientations toward individual-society relations that inform democratic citizenship and identity in South Africa. Findings from focus group interviews conducted with 50 Xhosa teachers from all seven primary and intermediate schools in a township outside Cape Town depict the cultural contours of democracy and how the teachers reaffirm and question the dominant Western-oriented democratic narrative. Through ubuntu, defined as the virtue of being human premised upon respect, the Xhosa teachers interrupt the prevailing rights-and-responsibilities discourse to interpose a conception of democracy based on rights, responsibilities, and respect. Society and schools, in their view, fall short in educating young learners for democratic citizenship in South Africa; their insights offer ways for formal schooling to improve upon its democratic mission.
PubDate: Fri, 11 Nov 2016 15:27:38 PST
- The Common Core and Democratic Education: Examining Potential Costs and
Benefits to Public and Private Autonomy
Authors: Benjamin J. Bindewald et al.
Abstract: This conceptual paper assesses prevalent critiques of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and analyzes content from the CCSS in language arts and literacy to determine whether the standards are likely to support or undermine key democratic aims of education. The authors conclude that critiques of the CCSS have some merit but are generally overstated and misdirected, and the standards give inadequate attention to the development of public autonomy but an ideal amount of attention to development of private autonomy.
PubDate: Fri, 11 Nov 2016 15:27:33 PST
- Sam and Cristina: A Critical Dialogue Between a Teacher and Student About
the Commoditization of People of Color by Schools
Authors: Samuel J. Tanner et al.
Abstract: This article was written by a white high school teacher (Sam) and a high school student of color (Cristina) in order to consider the harmful potential for schools in the United States to commoditize students of color at the expense of critical, antiracist work. It was written out of a Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) study and uses a critical whiteness framework in order to examine how Cristina, in dialogue with Sam, came to theorize that her racial identity was commoditized as a cultural asset of their high school in exploitative ways. Her thinking, juxtaposed with Sam’s consideration of his own whiteness, illustrates the complex ways that students of color can be exploited in ways that do not disrupt hegemonic white supremacy in educational contexts. It is our hope that sharing this dialogical interaction will contribute to the consideration of a more nuanced understanding of how whiteness can obstruct democratic practices, especially racial justice, in U.S. schools.
PubDate: Fri, 11 Nov 2016 15:27:28 PST
- The Challenges of Gaming for Democratic Education: The Case of iCivics
Authors: Jeremy Stoddard et al.
Abstract: Video games are the most recent technological advancement to be viewed as an educational panacea and a force for democracy. However, this medium has particular affordances and constraints as a tool for democratic education in educational environments. This paper presents results from a study of the design and content of four iCivics games and their potential to meet the goals of democratic education. Specifically, we focus on the games as designed experiences, the nature and accuracy of the content, and the nature of intellectual engagement in the games. We find that the games, while easily accessible and aligned with standardized curriculum, do not provide opportunities to engage players in deliberative decision making on contemporary issues or to apply concepts from the game world to their role as citizens in training. Further, the game content is more “textbook” than the potentially dynamic and authentic types of civic engagement the medium of games can provide.
PubDate: Fri, 11 Nov 2016 15:27:23 PST
- Toward a Transformative Criticality for Democratic Citizenship Education
Authors: Lisa A. Sibbett
Abstract: This article uses a well-received recent text—Hess and McAvoy’s The Political Classroom—to suggest that democratic citizenship education today has a social accountability problem. I locate this discussion in the context of a longstanding conflict between the critical thinking approach to democratic citizenship education, the approach typified by The Political Classroom, and the critical pedagogical approach, which has an equal but opposite problem, that of indoctrination. If democratic citizenship educators are truly interested in transforming the social order, I suggest, then we need to listen appreciatively, and respond thoughtfully, to critiques of the approach we favor. The article ends by outlining a possible way forward, by means of a concept I term “transformative criticality.” I suggest that such an approach to criticality is enacted in another well-received recent volume in the field, Stitzlein’s Teaching for Dissent.
PubDate: Fri, 11 Nov 2016 15:27:19 PST
- The Hard Work of Teaching. A Book Review of The Charged Classroom:
Predicaments and Possibilities for Democratic Teaching
Authors: Paula McAvoy
Abstract: This is a review of the book The Charged Classroom: Predicaments and Possibilities for Democratic Teaching, by Judith L. Pace.
PubDate: Wed, 04 May 2016 14:27:29 PDT