We would like to welcome you all to Participatory Democracy and Public Education. This new blog will feature four writers -- Bryant, Saulo, Patrick and Greg using an active discussion format; engaging each other through critical responses to each other’s blogs.
Originally, we were writing at Education Week and many of our writings can be found there under the title of Democracy and Education. After having such a wonderful experience, it is time for us to transition in order to accomplish the goals we have set for our blog.
In making this transition, we have thought much about what our LARGER VISION has been for Democracy and Education. We are in this work: to build a transformative movement that will make the educational and economic system more equitable.
Our blog work at Education Week (and now at Daily Kos) has been to build a conversation about transformative movements and public policy with potential allies.
We are getting to our larger vision by doing 6 actions:
1. Through stories and ideas, connecting with our audience:
(our audience is students, activists, funders, teachers and progressives who we are connecting with horizontally and vertically, across generations and fields; among progressive sectors not engaged in education reform and those involved in education);
2. Engaging our audience and getting their comments to help us catalyze each other’s thinking:
(getting ideas, stories and theories of change to create conversations that are smarter, more spirited and grounded that will help foster more cutting edge and efficacious work);
3. Creating a space so we all can take a moment to step back out of the trenches and engage in conversations bridging theory and practice (praxis):
(for example students or teachers sharing stories and stepping back from their struggles in high school or activists from their movements or funders and their strategies);
4. Sharing our knowledge on how others create change:
(and showing how others are getting involved today, have built transformative movements in the past and are creating alternatives both in the US and around the world);
5. Pointing out the inequities in the US system education, economic and political system:
(and showing how education is both a microcosm and the cutting edge of the larger economic system);
6. Giving our reader/partners specific opportunities to act and participate:
(Providing links and being a hub among a network of hubs for people to join movements).
By doing all these things we are getting to our goals – here are the ABCs:
A. Amplify activists', students' and educators' thinking about what is happening and what is possible,
B. Build relationships among a wide range of partners; and,
C. Collaborate in building the public and political will necessary to imagine and push for a more participatory, equitable education and economic system.
Ultimately, we recognize that a transformation of the education system will not take place in the absence of an authentic social movement. And joining a movement is more of an action than reading a blog on the web. The web can connect, amplify, inform but to join you also have to get off the web and get with people in the classroom, out on the streets, occupying schools and homes and campaign offices.
We will continue to write about activism, education reform and our theories of successful social movements. We encourage you to read and comment our blogs to come. We cherish substantive criticism and feedback because it is the essence of generating greater ideas. You can email us at gjl.democracy.educationgmailcom.
Greg, Patrick, Bryant and Saulo