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ERIC Number: EJ1046190
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0093-3104
Contested Spaces of a "Failing" Elementary School
Kawai, Roi; Serriere, Stephanie; Mitra, Dana
Theory and Research in Social Education, v42 n4 p486-515 2014
Amid the recent proliferation of teacher-led movements resisting high-stakes testing across the United States, the authors identify how a "failing" elementary school reclaimed local discourse by taking political action against top-down measures. Framed as competing modes of school reform, the authors offer the sociocultural framework of "contested spaces" to build understanding of top-down and bottom-up school reform efforts. The data are organized in three descriptive scenarios: (1) the principal of Dewey Elementary created spaces to reclaim public education as local, (2) teachers created a Facebook group called "Democracy in Action" with a corresponding call and write-in campaign to protest current political measures, and (3) parents pulled their students from taking standardized tests to an extent that merited national news coverage. Drawn from the results of "interactive qualitative analysis" performed with the participants, the authors examine the contextual supports in which all participants were capable, if not privileged, to act. Conclusions show how school reform might succeed from the bottom up via grassroots contestation in a top-down reform era. The article sets a wider goal of reimagining how schools, school leadership training, teacher education, and pedagogy might reclaim the idea of education as a democratic, public, and intellectual activity to redefine the educational landscape.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A