Category Archives: Education Reform

Insurgent Social Studies

 

Insurgent Social Studies: Scholar-Educators Disrupting Erasure and Marginality has just been published by Myers Education Press.

The collection brings together contributions from a “new(er)” generation of social studies scholar-educators who take as one of their starting points a social studies curriculum that is “designed to erase or otherwise marginalize voices, bodies, and experiences not accepted by or created for the benefit of white supremacist society.”

The project was inspired by Wayne Au’s conception of pedagogy of insurgency. Au describes this kind of pedagogy as requiring:

  • Bravery and risk, as rebellious educators take the step of fighting back against social and educational injustice in public and visible ways.
  • Allies, accomplices, and solidarity, as educators and community members come together across different identities in order to build a more broad-based and effective movement for educational justice. This, in turn, also helps to mitigate risk.
  • Understanding organizing, protest, and demonstrations as a valuable and worthwhile form of pedagogy and curriculum in itself.
  • Using critical analyses of power as a central approach for teaching and learning about social and educational injustice.
  • Developing a curriculum of insurgency for educators, students, and the community to engage in critical analyses of power in schools and society.
  • Embracing schools as sites of both oppression and liberation, and in the process also reimagining the role that schools can play in broader social change.
  • Connecting to broader social movements, as educators, students, and community see and understand that their own struggles for justice and liberation are part of broader, historic traditions in the fight for change.

The editors, Natasha Hakimali Merchant, Sarah B. Shear and Wayne Au, argue that “taken as a whole, a pedagogy of insurgency seeks to understand and at least partially explain the ways that teachers have the power – through pedagogy, curriculum, and community activism – to actively resist injustice while also working towards a more radically just world.

This is a path-breaking work in social studies education and anyone who is engaged and the political/pedagogical struggles for social justice in schools and the larger society will benefit from reading this collection.

I want to thank the editor for inviting me to write a brief Afterword.

Table of Contents

Introduction – We Won’t Wait Any Longer: An Introduction and Invitation to Insurgency for Social Studies
Natasha Hakimali Merchant, Sarah B. Shear, and Wayne Au

1. Insurgence Must Be Red: Connecting Indigenous Studies and Social Studies Education for Anticolonial Praxis
The Turtle Island Social Studies Collective

2. Solidarity Is a Verb: What the Black Lives Matter Movement Can Teach Social Studies About the Intersectional Fight Against Anti-Black Racism
Tiffany Mitchell Patterson

3. The Audacity of Equality: Disrupting the Distortion of Asian America in Social Studies
Noreen Naseem Rodríguez and Esther June Kim

4. “Existence Is Resistance”: Palestine and Palestinians in Social Studies Education
Hanadi Shatara

5. Insurgente: A Familia in Conversation About Latinxs Voices in the Field of Social Studies
La Familia Aponte-Safe Tirado Díaz Beltrán Ender Busey Christ

6. Unsatisfied: The Conceptual Terrain of De-Essentializing Islam in Social Studies
Natasha Hakimali Merchant

7. Queer Worlding as Historical Inquiry for Insurgent Freedom-Dreaming
Tadashi Dozono

8. Democracy Is Interdisciplinary: The Case for Radical Civic Innovation Across Content Areas
Antero Garcia, Nicole Mirra, and Mark Gomez

9. Cultural Bombs and Dangerous Classes: Social Studies Education as State Apparatus in the War on Terror
Jennice McCafferty-Wright

10. Whiteness and White Responsibility in Social Studies
Andrea M. Hawkman

Afterword – Insurgent Social Studies and Dangerous Citizenship
E. Wayne Ross

Critical Pedagogy and the Covid-19 Pandemic: Keeping Communities Together in Times of Crisis

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fatma Mizikaci and Eda Ata (University of Anakara, Turkey) began a free online webinar series called Global Thursday Talks to examine the social and political impact of the pandemic on education, and explore how the creation of digital communities has become indispensable in maintaining connectivity and building networks.

The book version of these GTT talks and interviews, Critical Pedagogy and the Covid-19 Pandemic: Keeping Communities Together in Times of Crisis has just been published by Bloomsbury.

A wide-range of critical scholar/activist educators from Europe, North America and Turkey participated in the seminars and contribute to the book. I’m really pleased to have had the opportunity to participate in the project along with Antonia Darder, Liv Mjelde, Michael Apple, Peter McLaren, Henry Giroux, Ira Shor, and many others.

My dialogue with Fatma and Eda as part of GTT is wide-ranging. I discuss my journey as an activist educator and experiences that shaped my thinking about education and its role in the transformation of society. I also describe how the pandemic created a crisis for teaching, learning, and democratic action within the pre-existing crisis that is neoliberal capitalism, including how the threats of corporate education intensified during the pandemic. I also spend time talking about various models of critical resistance for teachers and teacher educators – that is – how post-pandemic educators can take advantage of the disruptions of traditional practices to create more flexible, responsive and subversive approaches to teaching and learning.

Sneak peak at New Book: Social Studies Education in Latin America

I’m pleased to provide a sneak peak of a new book coming out from Routledge later in 2022.

Social Studies Education in Latin America: Critical Perspectives from the Global South will be the first entry in a new Routledge books series titled Social Studies and Citizenship Education in the Global South. The book and book series are edited by  Sebastián Plá (Professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico) and me.

This book offers a path forward, for the growing collaboration in social studies education between Global North and South educators, practitioners, and researchers. In this volume, leading critical social studies education researchers from Latin America explore the constant presence of colonialism, capitalism, patriarchy, and state violence.  Chapter contributors represent a large part of the continent, and offer perspectives on a wide range of topics, including; recent history and memory, cultural dimensions of social studies education, and comparative studies among Latin American countries.

By bringing together this critical work in one volume, the book fosters conversation across geographic regions to transcend the national contexts for which these analyses are generally produced. This collection provides insights into issues of curriculum, teaching, teacher education and research in the region and will be of interest to readers both familiar with and new to research on social studies, history, citizenship, and geography education in Latin America.

Table of Contents

Preface

1. The New Social Studies Research in Latin America: An Introduction
Sebastián Plá & E. Wayne Ross

2. Educational Trajectories in an Adverse Political Context: The Social Sciences and History in the Colombian School
Sandra Patricia Rodríguez Ávila

3. Education, History, and Memory in the Chilean School: A Perspective on Chile’s Recent History from the Narratives of High School Students
Fabián González Calderón & Graciela Rubio Soto

4. Interculturalism in the Training of History Teachers: Persistence of the Disciplinary Code
Omar Turra Díaz & Juan Salcedo-Parada

5. Decolonial Pedagogy: Intersections and Resistances of Memory and History, in Mapuche Communities of Southern Chile
Carolina Huenchullán Arrué

6. Afrodescendant in Latin America and Social Studies: A Perspective from Mexico
Gabriela Iturralde Nieto

7. When Gender and Sexuality Intersect with History Teaching: Brazil is Burning
Fernando Seffner

8. Crossroads of History Teaching and Learning and Political Science in Latin America: TheResidenteProject
Luis Fernando Cerri

9. Disciplinary Codex in History Education
María Paula González

10. On the History We Teach Every Day: Historics, Historiography and Philosophy of History
Ana Zavala

11. The Critical Reading of the Southern Geographical Reality: The Challenge of School Geography
José Armando Santiago Rivera

12. The Panorama of Social Studies in Latin America Curricula
Sebastián Plá

Advance Endorsements

“The New Social Studies Research in Latin America is an achievement and an opportunity to facilitate a better exchange of ideas and more equal academic discussion. Written by leading researchers in Latin America and edited by key authorities in the field, it opens access to Latin American social studies research in their own words. The book is an essential read for social studies academics and practitioners who are open to being challenged and engaging in more ethical constructions of knowledge.” – Dr. Edda Sant, Reader in Education, Manchester Metropolitan University (UK)

“There is an essential uniqueness to The New Social Studies Research in Latin America that could truly benefit social studies education in North America. We are in urgent need of a global lens and vital dialogue that examines the political, economic, and social histories inherent to Central and South America. Like none before, this book will bring to our classrooms perspectives on power and a wonderful opportunity to shift our practices.” – Dr. Cinthia Salinas, Ruben E. Hinojosa Regents Professor in Education, University of Texas at Austin (USA)

“The collection of critical research on social studies in Latin America, in dialogue with global issues, makes The New Social Studies Research in Latin America an indispensable contribution to the renewal of critical social studies education.” – Dr. Antoni Santisteban Fernández, Professor & Director of the Department of Didactics of Language and Literature, and Social Sciences, Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain)

The New Social Studies Research in Latin America offers readers vital insights into critical teaching and learning. The chapters call upon educators to account for the classed, gendered, and racialized nature of systems born in Empire and inequality and for the capacities of communities to learn themselves into a more just co-existence.” – Dr. Kent den Heyer, Professor, Department of Secondary Education, University of Alberta (Canada)

“Language has become a barrier to knowledge and exchange between research carried out in countries whose language is of Latin origin, in our case Spanish and Portuguese. It is important to promote and discuss the knowledge created in Latin America, which makes The New Social Studies Research in Latin America relevant.” – Dr. Ángel Díaz-Barriga, Institute for Research on the University and Education, National Autonomous University of Mexico (Mexico)

Encyclopaedia of Marxism and Education

Encyclopaedia of Marxism and Education

Brill has just published the Encyclopaedia of Marxism and Education, edited by Alpesh Maisuria, who is a professor in Education Policy in Critical Education at the University of the West of England, Bristol, UK.

“This encyclopaedia showcases the explanatory power of Marxist educational theory and practice. The entries have been written by 51 leading authors from across the globe. The 39 entries cover an impressive range of contemporary issues and historical problematics. The editor has designed the book to appeal to readers within the Marxism and education intellectual tradition, and also those who are curious newcomers, as well as critics of Marxism.

The Encyclopaedia of Marxism and Education is the first of its kind. It is a landmark text with relevance for years to come for the productive dialogue between Marxism and education for transformational thinking and practice.”

I co-authored, with Sandra Mathison,  a chapter titled “Critical Education” for EME. In this chapter we define critical education broadly as a field or approach that works theoretically and practically toward social change that anticipates a post-capitalist world. We explore multiple foundational sources for critical education including Marxism and critical theory, but also democracy and anarchism. And finally, we provide an overview of several manifestations of critical education. While many conflate critical pedagogy with critical education, we contend critical education has a broader reach.

Please contact me if you would like a copy of our chapter on critical education, as I have a limited number of offprints I can share.


Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
List of Figures and Tables
Notes on Contributors

1 Introduction
Alpesh Maisuria
2 The 4th Industrial Revolution, Post-Capitalism, Waged Labour and Vocational Education
James Avis
3 Alienation and Education
Richard Hall
4 Alternatives to Capitalism
Peter Hudis
5 Capital Accumulation and Education
John Fraser Rice
6 Colonialisms and Class
Spyros Themelis
7 Communism: The Party – Pedagogy and Revolution from Marx to China
Collin L. Chambers and Derek R. Ford
8 Corporate State: “Downhill All the Way” – Education in England from Welfare to Corporate State
Patrick Ainley
9 Critical Education
Sandra Mathison and E. Wayne Ross
10 Critical Realism
Grant Banfield
11 Cuban-Marxist Education
Rosi Smith, Leticia de las Mercedes García Rosabal and Maikel J. Ortiz Bosch
12 Dialectical Materialism (Materialist Dialectics)
Constantine (Kostas) Skordoulis
13 Disaster Education
John Preston
14 Early Childhood, Feminism, and Marx
Rachel Rosen and Jan Newberry
15 Employment: Education without Jobs – Young People, Qualifications, and Employment in 21st Century Britain
Martin Allen
16 Ethnography of Education and Marxism: Education Research for Social Transformation
Dennis Beach
17 Freire, Paulo (1921–1997) as a Marxist Revolutionary for Education
Juha Suoranta
18 Gramsci, Antonio (1891–1937): Culture and Education
Peter Mayo
19 Green Marxism
Simon Boxley
20 Guevara, Ernesto “Che” (1928–1967)
Peter McLaren and Lilia D. Monzó
21 Intersectionality: Scaling Intersectional Praxes
Gregory Martin and Benjamin “Benji” Chang
22 Lenin, Vladimir (1870–1924) and Education
Juha Suoranta and Robert FitzSimmons
23 Liberation Theology
Peter McLaren
24 Luxemburg, Rosa (1871–1919) and Education
Julia Damphouse and Sebastian Engelmann
25 Managerialism and Higher Education
Goran Puaca
26 Marxism and Education: [Closed] and … Open …
Glenn Rikowski
27 Marxism and Human Rights against Capitalism
Daniel Hedlund and Magnus Nilsson
28 Marxist Feminism and Education: Gender, Race, and Class
Sara Carpenter and Shahrzad Mojab
29 Middle Classes of the World
Göran Therborn
30 Neo-Liberalism and Revolution: Marxism for Emerging Critical Educators
Alpesh Maisuria
31 New Left, Anarchism and Education
Nick Stevenson
32 Palestine: Education in Mandate Palestine
Bernard Regan
33 Plebs League: Towards a Modern Plebs League
Colin Waugh
34 Postdigital Marxism
Petar Jandrić
35 Poverty: Class, Poverty and Neo-Liberalism
Terry Wrigley
36 Public Pedagogy
Mike Cole
37 Public University: The Political Economy of the Public University
David Harvie, Mariya Ivancheva and Robert Ovetz
38 Social Class: Education, Social Class and Marxist Theory
Dave Hill and Alpesh Maisuria
39 State and Private Capital: Education, State and Capital
Ravi Kumar and Rama Paul
40 World-Systems Critical Education
Tom G. Griffiths

Index

THE REGIMES OF TRUTH OF (GLOBAL) CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION

Event cancelled based on UBC recommendations regarding COVID-19.

Public Seminar
Institute for Critical Educational Studies

THE REGIMES OF TRUTH OF (GLOBAL) CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION

Marta Estellés, PhD
University of Cantabria (Spain)

Thursday, April 2, 2020
12:30 – 1:30 pm
University of British Columbia, Vancouver — Scarfe 1209

 Abstract

The aim of this presentation is to briefly problematize current ways of thinking and talking about (global) citizenship education. Citizenship is a process more than it is an attribute, since the concept has incorporated the main characteristics both of the political transformations experienced by the State and of the State’s relations with society. The successive battles for the definition of citizenship have an impact on that institution of socialization that is school. Examining the evolution of curricular prescriptions and orientations is enough to glimpse changes in the languages and frames through which certain relations between the individual, the community, and the State are naturalized.

The results of our research show that the two major cycles of socio-institutional restructuring in Western countries – from the crisis of the nineteenth-century liberal regimes to the present – have imposed different trends in relation to citizenship education in schools. The first cycle reached its culmination with the implementation of Welfare States after the Second World War. It was not a coincidence that the first major defense for democratic citizenship education appeared in this moment, with the reformist impulse that gave rise in 1916 to Social Studies in the US. The recognition of socio-economic rights and the formation of citizenship appeared inextricably linked in the texts of the reform, in an attempt to establish a new “regime of truth” that radically redefined the meaning of education for all, and not only for a privileged minority. This redefinition also implied a criticism of the patriotic and nationalistic purposes of education. This language, however, started to become blurred as neoliberal policies instituted their own frames in the 1980s with Reagan in the US and Thatcher in the UK. Citizenship education began to adopt the rhetoric of accountability with its emphasis on testing, performance levels, skills, etc. and the focus was on promoting responsible and active citizenship that clearly emphasized duties over rights. Thus, it began to be assumed that citizens should be responsible for their own well-being and not the State. Recent discourses on global citizenship education should be seen as heirs of this last redefinition. After all, global citizenship education “aims to empower learners to engage and assume active roles, both locally and globally, to face and resolve global challenges” (UNESCO, 2014, p. 15), assuming that the responsibility of solving those challenges lies with the individuals, not on governments or international organizations.

Marta Estellés, PhD, is Assistant Professor of the Department of Education at the University of Cantabria (Spain). Her research interests include citizenship education, social studies education, curriculum policies and teacher education. She has published several works on the intersectional field of democratic citizenship education and initial teacher education. She is currently working on a research project related to teachers’ political views and behaviors and their attitudes towards including controversial issues in the classroom. She is also part of the Fedicaria collective (http://www.fedicaria.org), which advocates for critical social studies education.

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Sandra Mathison: Privatizing private schools should top list of funding changes

Published in The Province (Vancouver, BC)
October 9, 2019
Since 2013, the province has subsidized private schools to the tune of $2.6 billion. The subsidies for 2018-19 alone were $426 million, and projections for this school year are $436 million. Julia McKay / The Whig-Standard

Privatizing private schools should top list of funding changes

By Sandra Mathison

Opinion: With a public system still reeling from more than 15 years of cuts by the previous government, there is no excuse for funnelling billions of dollars to private schools.

As the B.C. education ministry rethinks how to fully and adequately fund the province’s schools, at the top of their list should be privatizing private schools by discontinuing public subsidies to independent schools.

Since 2013, the province has subsidized private schools to the tune of $2.6 billion. The subsidies for 2018-19 alone were $426 million, and projections for this school year are $436 million.

These subsidies to private schools have increased at an astronomical rate: funding increases (adjusted for inflation) to private schools have increased by 122.8 per cent since 2000-01, compared to a 15.9-per-cent increase in funding to public schools during this same period.

According to recent surveys by the Institute for Public Education, CUPE B.C. and the B.C. Humanist Association, most British Columbians believe public funding of private schools needs to end. In a poll that Insights West conducted for us in May, four in five British Columbians (78 per cent) oppose providing taxpayer funds for elite private schools. Sixty-nine per cent of British Columbians oppose funding to faith-based schools.

Let private schools be private, and let them deserve the label “independent schools.”

Private schools cost taxpayers by direct taxpayer-supported subsidies, but also by exemptions from paying property taxes, numerous personal tax benefits for individuals, and collecting large sums of tax-deductible donations.

Private schools also cost B.C. in non-economic ways. Faith-based schools are allowed to ignore human-rights laws and discriminate against employees based on marital status or sexual orientation. Our poll shows that few British Columbians are aware that faith-based schools are exempted from the B.C. Human Rights Code, but once they were aware of this, 81 per cent of respondents did not believe they should be allowed this exemption.

Let private schools be private, and let them deserve the label “independent schools.”

Private school admission processes segregate students by class and/or beliefs, rejecting students who don’t “fit” their values. These schools are therefore isolating students from peers who are not like them. Many B.C. taxpayers’ children would not be admitted to these private schools — because they can’t afford them, do not have academic credentials, or they are not suitable given the school’s philosophy.

Private schools reject the idea that schools ought to be about equity, about providing an education for all students regardless of their individual attributes.

If the education ministry needs a plan, they could immediately end subsidies to elite “Group 2” schools, those spending more per student than public schools and charging significant tuition fees. These are schools such as St. George’s in Vancouver and Shawnigan Lake on Vancouver Island.

Then they could phase out subsidies to faith-based schools over a short period of time, say two to three years.

The ministry should review private schools that serve needs not currently well met by the public schools (possibly, Indigenous schools and programs for students with special needs) and work toward integrating those schools/programs into the public education system. They should ensure there is sufficient funding provided to public schools to meet those needs.

And at the same time, tax exemptions that diminish revenue that could support public education need to change.

With a public school system still reeling from more than 15 years of cuts by the previous government, and students with special needs bearing the brunt of the underfunding, there is no excuse for funnelling billions of dollars to private schools. That money should be allocated to the public school system where it can help every child achieve their fullest potential.

Sandra Mathison is the executive director of the Institute for Public Education B.C., a professor of education at the University of B.C., and co-director of the Institute for Critical Education.

The Many Faces of Privatization

Public funding for private schools may be the most obvious way public education in British Columbia is being privatized, but there are other less obvious privatizing strategies at work. The Many Faces of Privatization is a background paper I co-authored with Sandra Mathison and Larry Kuehn as part of Funding Public Education project of the Institute for Public Education / British Columbia.

The paper offers analysis of 1) the common neoliberal narrative that legitimizes and promotes privatization thus drawing the public into a manufactured consent of privatization and 2) specific contexts in which this privatization in manifest, such as personalized learning (especially with technology), choice programs, school fees and fund raising, business principles of school administration, corporate sponsorships, fee paying international students, and publicly funded private schools.

Cultural Logic 2017 – Scholactivism: Transforming Praxis in and Beyond the Classroom

The editors of Cultural Logic are pleased to announce that our latest collaboration with with Works & Davids is now available online.

This triple issue of articles, reviews, and poetry was edited by Joseph G. Ramsey.

Thanks to David B. Downing and his staff at Works & Days as well as Cultural Logic co-editor David Siar and Jarib Rahman for their technical assistance in publishing this issue of Cultural Logic.

Scholactivism: Reflections on Transforming Praxis in and Beyond the Classroom

In Memoriam, Edmond Caldwell

Contents

Articles

Editors
“Editorial Note”

Marc Bousquet
“Here We Come”

Joseph G. Ramsey
“Introducing Scholactivism
Reflections on Transforming Praxis in and beyond the Classroom”

Edward J. Carvalho
“The Activist-Scholar:
A Responsibility “to confront and dismantle
Interview with Ward Churchill”

Babak Amini
“Scholactivism:
A Roundtable Interview with Ricardo Antunes, Pietro Basso, Patrick Bond, Michael Lowy, Jose Paulo Netto, and Leo Panitch”

Carl Grey Martin and Modhumita Roy
“Narrative Resistance:
A Conversation with Historian Marcus Rediker”

Toby Miller
“We Are All Activists Now”

Patrick Colm Hogan
“Politically Engaged Scholars:
An Analytic of Positions and Norms”

The MLA Subconference Collective: Bennett Carpenter, Laura Goldblatt, Lenora Hanson, Karim Wissa, and Andrew Yale
“Schol…Exodus?
Learning Within/Against/Beyond the Institution”

Jeffrey Noonan
“Resolving the Contradictions of Academic Unionism”

Gary Zabel
“Critical Revolutionary Praxis in the Neoliberal University”

Bradley M. Freeman
‘”Better Days Ahead”
Teaching Revolutionary Futures and Protesting the Present’

John Maerhofer
“Lukács, Mariátegui, and the Dialectical Roots of Edu-Activism”

Stephen C. Ferguson II and Gregory D. Meyerson
“Shred of Truth:
Antinomy and Synedoche in the Work of Ta-Nehisi Coates”

Ian Butcher
“Student Evaluations, Neoliberal Managerialism, and Networks of Mistrust”

Demetrius Noble
“I am Not that Corpse:
A Working Praxis for Black Lives Matter”

Jill McDonough
“Amos D. Squire,
Chief Physician of Sing Sing 1914-1925”

Ali Shehzad Zaidi
“The Promise and Peril of the Virtual University”

Efadul Huq and Xavier Best
‘Untangling the Scholactivist Web
“What’s on Your Mind”‘

Sophia A. McClennen
“What’s Wrong with Slactivism? Confronting the Neoliberal Assault on Millenials”

Jeffrey R. DiLeo
“Top Cover:
On Administrative Activism in the Neoliberal Academy”

Katie Hogan
“Complicit:
On Being a WGSS Program Director in the Neoliberal University”

Vincent B. Leitch
“Letter on Scholactivism:
To Graduate Students and Young Colleagues”

Marisol Cortez
“Occupy Los Intersticios!
Or, In Defense of Carbon-Free Unicorns”

Tony Van der Meer
“Fighting to be Different in the Academy”

Kim Emery
“Rights and Rebellion: The Faculty Role, Revisited”

Victor Wallis
“Richard Levins and Dialectical Thinking”

Joel Woller, Courtney Maloney, Charles Cunningham
“On the Ground with David Demarest:
Toward a Methodology of Scholar Activism”

Christopher Craig
“John Trudell and the Spirit of Life”

Contributors

 

The Fear Created by Precarious Existence in The Neoliberal World Discourages Critical Thinking

I was recently interviewed about the impact of neoliberal capitalism on schools, universities, and education in general by Mohsen Abdelmoumen, an Algerian-based journalist.

Over the course of the interview we discussed a wide-range of issues, including: the fundamental conflict between neoliberalism and participatory democracy; the Global Education Reform Movement (GERM) and the possibilities of transforming schools and universities into forces for progressive change and, in particular, academic freedom and free speech on campus, schools as illusion factories, curriculum as propaganda; what it means to be a dangerous citizen; and the role of intellectuals/teachers as activists.

The interview has been published in English and French, links below.

American Herald Tribune

Algérie Résistance II

Palestine Solidarité