This winter 2023 edition of Our Schools, Our Selves looks at the role of the school in the midst of the culture wars and the current climate of disinformation.
The school as a target and potential tool for regressive forces, or the school as a mechanism for liberation and empowerment. But it’s not just the classroom content we need to examine. It’s the governance structure by which decision-makers are elected and where decisions are made. It’s the rhetorical devices employed and the (often coded) language used to describe the school, as well as its relationship with and responsibilities to the broader community. It’s the way the school can challenge systemic oppressions, or replicate and naturalize them. And it’s the targets that are selected – usually the most vulnerable – as scapegoats to justify more control, more standardization, less diversity.
What this means, of course, is that we need to be much more conscientious about teaching the history of social movements and the progress that’s been made (as well as the risks of moving backwards). We can take nothing for granted in the face of forces that continue to organize against a robust public infrastructure and the social progress that it enables and encourages.
We hope that this edition of Our Schools, Our Selves can be a small contribution to that process.