Building Movements for Educational Change

March 12, 2008

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Listen in for a roundtable discussion with authors and educators on important issues concerning education today.  Celebrating two new books on social justice & education: Right to Be Hostile by Erica R. Meiners and The Seduction of Common Sense by Kevin K. Kumashiro.

Panelists include: Mia Henry, Chicago Freedom School; Kevin KumashiroCenter for Anti-Oppressive Education at the University of Illinois-Chicago; Erica R. Meiners, Northeastern Illinois University - St. Leonard's Adult High School; and Janeida Rivera, Batey Urbano.

The books featured as part of this event:

Right to Be Hostile: Schools, Prisons, and the Making of Public Enemies
As early as preschool, educational policies and practices target increasing numbers of students of color as under-educated, unemployable, and in need of surveillance and containment.  In Right to Be Hostile, Erica R. Meiners offers concrete examples and new insights into the "school to prison pipeline" phenomenon, showing how disciplinary regulations, pedagogy, and other educational structures not only implicitly advance, but actually normalize an expectation of incarceration for urban youth.  Meiners asks researchers, activists, and educators to consider how our socio-cultural and economic structures support the relationships between prisons and schools.  By presenting a juxtaposition of strategies for change with an analysis of the forces that produce relationships between schools and prisons, Right to Be Hostile provides invaluable insight for activist educators committed to social justice.

The Seduction of Common Sense: How the Right Has Framed the Debate on America's Schools
Just in time for the 2008 elections, The Seduction of Common Sense offers a powerful examination of current education policy initiatives as framed by the rhetoric of the political Right and the political Left. Critical of both sides, Kumashiro first provides a searching look at the Right and shows why it has succeeded so well in winning the debate about the purposes and possibilities of education. Here he brilliantly illuminates how the Right uses particular "frames"--appeals to conservative notions of the traditional family, free enterprise, goodness, and fear--to shape the public's common sense ideas about schooling and build support for its attacks on public education and social justice reforms.  Turning then to the Left he shows how it has failed to win support for its initiatives and goals, especially regarding racial disparities in schools. More importantly, he argues that the Left must "reframe" common sense about education to embrace a commitment to human rights, a belief in equality, and quality education for all of our children. This is must reading for anyone concerned about the future of public education, especially right now.

 

Recorded Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at Jane Addams Hull-House Museum.