'Yes, but if we have Students Think All Day When Will We Get Anything Done?': Two Conceptual Resources to Engage Students in Democratically Dangerous Teaching

Jun. 15, 2008

Source: Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, Volume 14, Issue 3, June, 2008 , pages 253 – 263

While the politics of curriculum reform occupy adults, high stakes get played out in crowded classrooms. As a component of democratic inquiry, how might teachers engage students in a study of those agendas shaping their education? What sorts of conceptual resources could help?

To begin to answer these questions, the author briefly reviews scholars who address the emergence in several countries of what Kliebard names as a 'social efficiency' agenda in education.

The author then examines two strong examples of literature in 'authentic' practices as a curriculum conversation contesting this agenda. While supportive of the intent of scholars concerned with authentic practices, the author asserts that they insufficiently address ways in which students might engage with issues shaping their experience of formal education and offer two conceptual resources with which to do so.

Updated: Nov. 23, 2008