Disorganizing Schools: A Radical Pragmatist's Approach to Schooling, or Why Fixing People is Not Enough
Charest, Brian C.
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This dissertation examines the purposes for public schooling as well as the role that teachers play in schools and communities. I argue for expanding the role of the teacher to include working intentionally with community members to identify and potentially solve the issues that matter most to them. Beginning with questions about how our society currently defines the role of the teacher, I explore how teachers and teacher educators might do this work differently by adopting and implementing tactics and strategies used by community organizers. I argue that by embracing an ecological approach to schooling, one that encourages teachers and students to connect their work more directly to the most pressing concerns in their communities, schools can be transformed into sites of struggle for a more just society. Ecological approaches to schooling would reframe schools as spaces that directly address questions about how to develop individual capacities in the service of creating healthy and sustainable communities.