The principle of school choice is not as simple as upholding the rights of autonomy of families to make decisions about the education of their children. There are important considerations related to social justice, social cohesion, and so on. Private schools which are permitted to charge tuition are often able to generate large operating budgets, which can enable them to create better educational opportunities for the students there. This effectively allows wealthy parents to give their children an advantage over children from poor families, which undermines the principles of social justice. Charter schools with voucher systems, which allow families to effectively transfer their child's portion of public education funding from one school to the next, attempt to circumvent this issue by providing full public funding without any allowance for additional tuition fees. However, even in these cases, although financial inputs may be equal, there is still a social justice issue, because only the most active and engaged families (often those with the most educated parents) will do the research and leg work to make the best choices for their child's educationRead More
It's easy to talk about why democracy education is important. It's easy to pull together content about democracy.. even stuff for kids. But it's a lot hard to conceptualize what the practice of democracy education should look like. Clearly it doesn't just involve sitting and listening to lectures about democracy. But then what? Building on some of the work I did last year on education for democracy, I have developed a new guidebook for educators on how to put some of the theory into practice, and how to support some of the content with authentic experiences doing democracy.
The guidebook is actually an application of something deeper that I'm working on.. Aroundsquare's social transformation model. I'm exploring how we might, if we really want it, undertake to make some meaningful changes in our societies, in ourRead More
The hidden curriculum as a concept was a good starting point, but it's also a dead end. The value is in what it is looking at, and the constraint is how it does that. The hidden curriculum refers to the various things that students learn in school that are not part of the formal or explicit curricula. The idea is almost always presented in a negative or critical light, stressing the way in which tacit aspects of the schooling experience serve to condition students into accepting the status quo and internalizing hegemonic structures.
The important revelation in this idea is that there is a lot being learned in school which is not directly linked to teacher talk and textbooks. The hidden curriculum was called hidden because it is not always easy to spot. It exists somewhere beneath the surface of what we are used to paying attention to in classrooms. It relates to the assumptions weRead More
Students' schooling experiences are some of the strongest forces in their development. These experiences result not only in the learning of explicit subject matter associated with formal curricula, but also in a great deal of informal or tacit learning (Goodlad, 2004; Snyder, 1970). This tacit learning is more a function of cultivation or socialization than teaching in the colloquial sense, and has been described as a hidden curriculum (Jackson, 1968). While such learning is seldom mentioned in explicit goals (Apple, 1990), it has a profound and lasting impact on students (Ghosh, 2008; Posner, 2003), as it helps to conditions students to certain patterns of behavior, manners of thinking, deeply held beliefs, and dispositions (Burbules, 2008; Snyder, 1970), and even their underlying assumptions about the world (Apple, 1990; Bowers, 1993). In short, “Children learn what they live” (Nolte, 1972).Read More