October 2015 Archives

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

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.

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.

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.

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

An experience with my father-in-law's death over the weekend in Johannesburg raises starkly the questions of outside expert control, with parallels in schools.

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

Harry Boyte and Deborah Meier exchange ideas about "citizen politics," cross-partisan politics of citizen empowerment, or civic agency, how citizen politics can address challenges like gun violence, and how schools might become sites.

Deborah Meier and Harry Boyte discuss what democratic education and education for democracy involve. They identify "agency," both individual and collective or civic, as key.


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