Re-Envisioning Education and Democracy Ebook
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Publication Date: September 2006
File Size: 2613 Kbytes
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The fate of public education and therefore the future of our democracy is at risk. Powerful forces are eroding commitment to public schools and weakening democratic resolve. Yet even in deeply troubling times, it is possible to broaden social imagination and empower efforts toward systemic progressive reform. This book is an invitation for widespread participation in a complex process-re-envisioning education and democracy. To reenvision- to envision and then envision again-is to join with others in imagining new possibilities and bringing these into existence. Re-envisioning is a radically social process. Although distinct and varied individual contributions are required, transformative visions cannot be advanced through the agency of one charismatic person, or bound by one influential perspective. The process of re-envisioning, like all forms of democratic living and learning, draws energy and insight when connection and communion are sustained across dimensions of difference. Re-envisioning is an intensely creative and exploratory process. It is not accomplished through careful construction of “best laid plans” aimed at attaining certainty and control.Re-envisioning is instead experienced and evolved by preparing for, and then acting on, informed and strategic glimpses. These brief and fleeting impressions-multimodal and multi-sensory, incomplete and ambiguous, always in motion-offer potentials, but no definitive answers. Re-envisioning is a profoundly ethical and aesthetic process, centered in prospects for social justice, compassion, reform, and renewal. Social movements are rarely motivated by commitments to narrow objectives aimed at solving specific problems. Across time and cultures we are drawn to persons and processes, to ideas and images, that call us back to remember our highest principles, and move us forward to respond with acts of integrity and grace. Recurrent themes of beauty and power-here mirrored in chapter titles-inspire, guide, and liberate collective vision and principled action. Re-envisioning, although accessible to all, remains largely undeveloped and underutilized. Our collective ability to realize progressive aspirations for education and democracy can be significantly enhanced by integrating the process of re-envisioning with other, more familiar, educational and political reform strategies.
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