In a State of Fragility: The Compromised Dignity of Communities, Indignation, and the Incapacitation of Public Education
The dominant framing of the work of public school districts in the United States prevents schools from contesting the indignities they themselves or their neighbors suffer. This incapacitates teachers and learning communities to work toward the attainment of inclusive democracy and the contestation of exclusionary practices and policies. An institutionally-grown advocacy of connection that nurtures intercommunity solidarity can help us redefine the work communities do as they learn to think of themselves as being in connection with other groups in a web of affiliation and care. I suggest that public education take on an informal function of ethical oversight rooted in a strong sense of collective institutional agency. Through such agency schools can recognize and respect and help us work through past and present civic grievances while addressing economic and social realities that give rise to feelings of indignation.
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