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November 12, 2015

The Challenges of Large-Scale Action for Democratic School Change

How can we create schools with more autonomy and communities that challenge the norms that are counterproductive to democracy?

November 10, 2015

How Cultural Organizing Can Promote Democracy in Schools

In this blog, Harry Boyte agrees with Deborah Meier that "choice" is not the same as democracy. He argues for a citizen politics of plurality, cooperation, equality, respect for people's potential, and recognition of a public realm, different than private life, and proposes that spreading such politics requires "cultural organizing."

November 05, 2015

School Choice Is Not Always Democratic

School choice, rather than being democratic, often creates communities separate from the ones we actually live and vote in.

November 03, 2015

A 'Copernican Revolution' for Large-Scale School Change

Harry Boyte responds to Deborah Meier's story of large-scale school reform efforts which failed or were ignored by policy makers, by calling for a "Copernican Revolution" in how we think about politics.

October 29, 2015

Democracy 'Experiments': Alternatives to Traditional Schools

Experimental attempts at creating alternative—and more democratic—school systems have been largely rejected or ignored.

October 27, 2015

Expanding Democracy With Schools, Commonwealth, and Citizen Politics

In this continuing dialogue with Deborah Meier, Harry Boyte argues that conversation between democracy educators and democracy organizers creates ground for expanding democracy. In addition to the importance of the commonwealth, shared public resources, it highlights the need for citizen politics, not simply party politics.

October 22, 2015

Prioritizing Children in Public and Private Schools

Private schools do not "belong" to the people in the same way public schools do, as their measure of success is not accountability to the community but merely their ability to sustain themselves.

October 20, 2015

Democracy Schools: Lessons From Community Organizing

Continuing the discussion with Deborah Meier about what makes for "democracy schools," Harry Boyte proposes the central importance of "relational organizing," building human relationships, like Meier. This is a lesson learned by contemporary community organizing, contrasted with "mobilizing" approaches. He also highlights the important distinction between "public relationships" and "private relationships," developed in relational organizing, which he and his colleagues translate into school change.

October 15, 2015

Teacher Judgment vs. Family Authority

Deborah Meier argues that to promote democratic learning, teachers should mimic the family as a learning place more than parents should mimic school classrooms.

October 08, 2015

How Schools Can Keep Play Alive

Deborah Meier discusses play as a form of agency, America's "obsession with rank order," and the role of school mandates.

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