Sunday, May 08, 2005

The Advocate Weekly and more

Thank you, Joe Thomas at Shut Up and Teach, for doing the heavy lifting. Be sure to check out his weekly education roundup .

I'm very glad Joe followed up on the debut of Public Resistance, who defines itself as an "academic juried journal designed to confront and expose the lies of the right".

Sounds like my type of place. Even better, check out the powerful mission statement:
The premise of public resistance is that a society is only democratic to the extent that informed citizens play a meaningful role in the decision-making processes that shape their social, technological, and ecological realities. Social, cultural, political, technological, biological, and ecological destinies are never outside human and social control. Free people always have active and creative means at their disposal to rearticulate circumstances. Education, in all its technological, social and cultural forms, is crucial in preparing citizens to develop and put those means to work .. American Public schools have long been dedicated to providing people with the basic skills requisite for critical engagement with the world. Those skills include, but have never been limited to reading, and writing, and mathematics. Public schools wishing to educate a participatory citizenry, also promote particular habits of mind and values necessary to democratic deliberation and debate on issues of public concern.

From the birth of public education in America this view of democracy and democratic education has been rejected by the economic and political elites who exercise power. From the New England mill bosses and Southern slave owners who opposed common schools, through the voucher supporters of today a critically engaged citizenry has always been perceived as a threat to elite power. the company and private schools, outside the democratic sphere, make it easier to subdivide and indoctrinate people with beliefs to uncritically accept the hegemony of state and corporate architects of public policy. At critical times in American history elite control over schools and curriculum has been challenged by teachers and educators: Abolition, the suffrage movement, worker's rights and unionization, and struggles for inclusion of children of poverty all played out - at least in part - in public schools. Progressive educators led movements to end corporal punishment in schools, and for reform movements in the juvenile "justice" system. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, educators similarly took active roles in fighting for the inclusion of children suffering from blindness, deafness, and various physical and mental disabilities.
There's more and I think it's worth reading the entire thing because it explains why progressive blogging is so damn important, not just in public education but in all public policy domains.