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ERIC Number: EJ1172038
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1071-4413
Creolizing Educational Practices
Gordon, Jane Anna
Review of Education, Pedagogy & Cultural Studies, v40 n1 p58-68 2018
Author Jane Anna Gordon begins this commentary by saying that early in her academic career she was struck by the dual character of schools as places that can damage and waste the human potential of some on one hand, and that can and should be put in the service of liberation on the other. She writes that this point was driven home to her through an experience she had as a high school student. Gordon tells the story of an AP U.S. History course, taught by a white U.S. southern conservative teacher, who prided himself on how the curriculum for the class had remained unchanged, impermeable to the movements in social and cultural history. In the absence of any other way to fulfill the national U.S. history requirement, a group of parents of primarily Black students at the school mobilized to demand the creation of an African American history class. A highly qualified teacher was hired from a historically Black college to teach the class. Gordon writes of having found the class transformative, because it demonstrated first hand to her that school curricula have political origins and can and should be a matter of ongoing, active contestation. Gordon argues that in the past, schools have been both part of the arsenal of colonial and genocidal projects as well as indispensable sites for cultivating and organizing liberatory efforts. Gordon recognizes the existence of fierce and chronic debate over whether educational missions are most justly fulfilled by remaining fixed or by changing with the demographic composition of those served. She proposes that idea that if schools are not to function as an arm of imperialism through wasting and denigrating some while cultivating the self-determining abilities of others, they will have to offer a more creolizing account of the past and present, affirming liberatory projects that would generate a more fully pluralizing or creolizing future.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A