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December 01, 2016

Turning Jobs Into Public Work

Facing a ferocious attack on the public purposes of education from the incoming Trump administration, it is crucial not to only focus on the dangers -- as real as they are. We also need to recognize the stirrings of a democracy movement in and around education. Overcoming the framing which is at the heart of the attack -- the false opposition of "vocational education" and "liberal arts and civic education" is key to building the power of this movement. Even the most insightful books from the democratic movement in education such as the new Dilemmas of Educational Ethics tend to reproduce the distinction. We need to claim our work as educational professional as public work, full of civic and democratic possibilities.

November 29, 2016

The Constructive Work of Teaching and Learning

Building foundations for democracy in schools can be achieved through building a culture of democracy for every child, writes Deborah Meier.

November 23, 2016

Pedagogy of the Empowered

Agency is not the same as activism. Civic agency is the capacity to work across differences on common problems and creation of common things including communities, and, broadly, democracy as a way of life. Schools -- and other educational institutions -- need to develop pedagogies of empowerment that teach the skills and habits of civic agency. This is the foundation for democracy.

November 22, 2016

Schools as Foundations of Democracy

Schools can play a powerful role in creating foundations of democratic thinking among students, writes Deborah Meier.

November 17, 2016

Remembering our Roots—Democracy of the People

The most important task after this dismal election is to remember the idea that animated America's founding --- democracy is people-centered, not politician-centered. Building foundations for this idea through people-owned schools -- free spaces -- which bring people together across partisan and other divides is a crucial task.

November 15, 2016

The Tough Road Ahead

In the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election, democracy in schools is more important than ever in the effort to win over Trump supporters on the part of those who didn't support the Republican candidate, writes Deb Meier.

November 10, 2016

Democracy Schools After the Election: Overcoming the Cult of the Expert

Hillary Clinton's defeat stems, in significant part, from the "cult of the expert" and the reliance on Big Data which infused it. The philosophy of democracy schools, resting on an alternative view of the person -- as unique, dynamic, full of co-creative agentic potential -- is a profound alternative.

November 01, 2016

Education and the Power of Memory

Education has a crucial role to play in launching a "campaign to remember" stories of agency, or popular empowerment, like the common school movement and many others. It also has the capacity to play such a role. This need is vivid illustrated by the election. People have forgotten that "we the people" created the nation itself, in a fight against a king.

October 25, 2016

Citizen Teachers: A New Common School Movement?

Democracy schools in America were associated with the "common school movement," embodying ideals of a "commonwealth" created and sustained by people in communities. As people made the commonwealth -- and its common schools -- they became invested in the commonwealth as a counterweight to private wealth. Can we do this again? If so, how did you rebuild a sense of ownership and connections in communities with the schools you were involved with?

October 20, 2016

The Politics of Citizen Teachers

Just as politics is an important function of a working democracy, smart politics can benefit schools and enhance democracy in schools, argues Deb Meier.

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