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ERIC Number: EJ837285
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1740-2743
"I Participate, You Participate, We Participate... They Profit," Notes on Revolutionary Educational Activism to Transcend Capital: The Rouge Forum
Gibson, Rich; Queen, Greg; Ross, E. Wayne; Vinson, Kevin
Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, v5 n2 Nov 2007
Ten years ago, the Rouge Forum initiated its work with this statement: "The Rouge Forum is a group of educators, students, and parents seeking a democratic society. We are concerned about questions like these: How can we teach against racism, national chauvinism and sexism in an increasingly authoritarian and undemocratic society? How can we gain enough real power to keep our ideals and still teach--or learn? Whose interests shall school serve in a society that is ever more unequal? We are both research and action oriented. We want to learn about equality, democracy and social justice as we simultaneously struggle to bring into practice our present understanding of what that is. We seek to build a caring inclusive community which understands that an injury to one is an injury to all. At the same time, our caring community is going to need to deal decisively with an opposition that is sometimes ruthless." This article briefly describes the theory and practice of the Rouge Forum's last decade. In practice, the Rouge Forum's activists led mass boycotts against high-stakes standardized exams in the U.S., helped lead sanctioned and wildcat teacher and student strikes and walk-outs against the tests and military recruitment, and operated effectively inside professional groups as well as unions. In theory, the Rouge Forum examined, often using a Marxist lens, questions like: "What value do school workers or students create? Why have school? How can educational workers and students keep their ideals and function inside their institutions? How do pedagogical methods influence substance?" In addition, Rouge Forum leaders published extensively in professional and popular journals, conducting serious research into both the social context of school, and daily life inside schools. Rouge Forum has been challenged by many of the shipwreck questions of the left. Externally, Rouge Forum members faced the checks placed against any critical thinker/actor in an era when the encapsulation of thought is nearly complete. In addition, the Rouge Forum operated inside of a milieu of the left poisoned by a decade of opportunism and post-modernism, the whining of petit-bourgeoisie intellectuals who sought to disconnect the past, present, and future, in order to build self-serving atomized counter-movements. Internally, the Rouge Forum sought to address parallel issues like the apparent contradiction between needing a serious organization prepared to fight a ruthless enemy with a centralized command, and the need to create and organization that offers people a rare chance to be truly creative and free. The Rouge Forum sought to fashion an integrated powerful movement, working against the stream of identity-based groupings operating without strategy, leaping from issue to issue, moment to moment. How the Rouge Forum addressed these and other issues is the offering of this article. (Contains 7 notes.)
The Institute for Education Policy Studies. University of Northampton, School of Education, Boughton Green Road, Northampton NN2 7AL United Kingdom. Tel: +44-1273-270943; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A