This is a book for teachers, parents, and other concerned citizens who care about public education, who want schools to be democratic in the best sense, and who seek argumentative ammunition for defending schools and for placing school issues within the larger framework of the long struggle to keep and expand democracy in the United States.
Fraser argues that advocates of the public schools must recapture and redefine democracy so that it becomes both the purpose of public education and the model on which schools are structured.
Defending an inclusive understanding of democracy, in which every citizen's contribution is essential to the health of the whole, Fraser responds to mean-spirited attacks on multicultural education, on school funding, and on progressive education itself. Finally, he explores the democratic and antidemocratic potential in increased use of computers in schools and in the reform of teacher education.
This is a book for teachers, parents, and other concerned citizens who care about public education, who want schools to be democratic in the best sense, and who seek ammunition for defending schools and for placing school issues in the larger context of the long struggle for a more just and humane society.
James W. Fraser is Professor of History and Education and Director of the Center for Innovation in Urban Education at Northeastern University. He is coeditor of Freedom's Plow: Teaching in the Multicultural Classroom.
"This book frames a critical question often overlooked in the current debate -- schools and school reform for what? The author provides a clearly written and well-argued critique of the economic rationale for school reform and offers a more democratic, radical, and humanistic vision of what schools are for. " -- Tony Wagner, Institute for Responsive Education, Boston University