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Article

Indigenous Education and Leadership Challenges  

Susan C. Faircloth

The ability to effectively lead schools serving Indigenous students in the United States is contingent upon one’s ability and willingness to acknowledge and honor the cultural, linguistic, and tribal diversity of Indigenous peoples and communities, coupled with a commitment to abiding by the federal trust responsibility for the education of Indigenous peoples—a federal responsibility unique to American Indian and Alaska Native peoples. This also requires educational leaders to create and sustain educational environments that are culturally relevant and responsive and that respect the rights of Indigenous Peoples and their tribal nations to be involved in, and ultimately to determine, the educational pathways and futures of their tribal citizens.

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The Entanglements of Ethnography and Participatory Action Research (PAR) in Educational Research in North America  

Margaret Eisenhart

The traditions of ethnography and participatory action research (PAR) have different roots and different priorities, but their trajectories have become entangled in educational research over the past halfcentury. In many ways, ethnography and PAR are compatible. Both make participants’ perspectives central to the research. Both rely primarily on qualitative methods. Both are ethically committed to appreciating cultural differences and promoting the welfare of the groups they work with. Taken together, each adds something important to the other: PAR offers ethnography a “stance toward research” that is more democratic and action-oriented than traditional ethnography; ethnography lends PAR legitimacy as a research approach. Nonetheless, differences between the two create contradictions and tensions when they are combined. While educational researchers remain enthusiastic about the potential of combining activism with cultural analysis, it is important not to collapse ethnography and participatory action research, or privilege one over the other, but to find productive ways to move forward with the tensions between them.

Article

School Accountability  

Esther Dominique Klein

Accountability has always been deemed a necessity for schools to fulfill their purpose in society. Because of the nature of their operational core, this has for a long time been based on bureaucratic and professional accountability in most countries. In the second half of the 20th century, several countries have started implementing instruments of managerial accountability. While bureaucratic accountability means that accountability is focused on functionality and regularity, and professional accountability means that the profession itself defines standards and mechanisms of holding one another accountable, managerial accountability focuses on the effectiveness of schools based on externally defined standards instead. In many countries, this change of focus in the accountability system has entailed strengthening the managerial power of school leadership and introducing performance measurement through tests and inspection. This has shifted the power balance between teachers and schools on the one hand, and education authorities on the other. At the same time, it has created the opportunity for schools to use the new data for improvement, albeit with varying results. The fact that so many countries have adopted managerial accountability accordingly is not based on evidence about its positive effects, but on convergence in an international organizational field. However, comparisons of accountability systems in the United Stated, Germany, and Finland show that the adoption of this global strategy is dependent on how it fits with the local institutional norms in each country. While the United States have traditionally had a system of managerial accountability, the other two countries have only recently supplemented their systems with elements of managerial accountability, and the instruments are therefore adapted to each context.

Article

Gender in Prison-Based Education  

Allyson Dean

Incarceration often separates individuals from opportunities to engage in learning environments and scholastic pursuits. Education programs afforded to incarcerated individuals look different across age and gender, as well as across different countries. While support for education for incarcerated people varies, research supports the importance education plays in one’s life post-release from incarceration. In the larger picture of education for incarcerated people, one element remains clear—women continue to experience disparities in educational equity. With the United States, among other countries, seeing a dramatic rise in the number of women sent to prison, the research on disparities in access to equitable educational opportunities lags. The complexity of identities with which people enter into incarceration largely remains unaddressed in educational settings, and failing to offer educational opportunities to those who are incarcerated creates additional barriers to success following release from prison. Globally, prison structures vary dramatically, from conditions that recognize the humanity of incarcerated individuals to conditions of squalor and disregard. The investments a country makes in providing education to its incarcerated population signals a larger commitment to its citizens and the belief in their worth to the rest of society. In countries with gender inequities, prisons often continue to exacerbate those inequities.

Article

Race and Institutional Effectiveness in Higher Education  

Karen T. Jackson

Race influences our approaches to developing and defining measures of effectiveness in higher education. Identification of gaps in processes from different race perspectives is imperative for goal alignment and mission success. Institutional structural decisions such as recruitment of faculty, staff, and students; hiring of faculty and staff; performance measures for faculty and staff; decisions about fund allocation; and choices made during strategic planning each influence and define the implementation of programs and interpretation of policies, and ultimately affect student achievement. These decisions are all driven by race-based expectations. Data used in institutional effectiveness can decrease the power of minority groups, and institutional practices can create inequitable environments by reinforcing narratives and privileges of one group above all others. Using collective and collaborative systems to gather data and make sense of data from different race-based perspectives to call attention to equity gaps and to understand problems and what is contributing to inequities are ways to address issues of race that influence institutional effectiveness in higher education.

Article

Racial Violence in the United States  

Darius D. Prier

Since the “discovery” of the so-called New World, The U.S. has carried a history of a violent past. It is a past in which genocide toward Native Americans and enslavement of Black Americans are uncomfortable truths in the annals of history. The racial legacy of such a violent past has its roots in the ideology of White supremacy. This is an ideology in which racialized “others” are cast as subordinate and inferior to persons socially constructed as “White.” It is not just a designation of ideology but can inform discriminatory practices toward communities of color, with even fatal outcomes for this population. Subsequently, racial violence has become an empirical fact of the U.S. social reality. The U.S. legacy of racial violence continues to proliferate in the 21st century, albeit in different forms than genocide and slavery. African American, Latino(a)(x), Jewish, Asian/Pacific Islander, and the LGBTQIA+ communities have been subject to targeted acts of racial violence. In addition, women have been the victims of gender violence. The event that signified White America’s animus toward communities of color came to a crescendo happened when White nationalists went to war against democracy through a violent insurrection on Capitol Hill, January 6, 2021. The documented mass murders toward many of the aforementioned groups and the insurrection on Capitol Hill belie and challenge the notion and ideal of progress toward a “color-blind” society. The resurgence of racial violence since the 2010s has been coupled with many legislators of the nation-state rejecting all forms of anti-racist pedagogy, particularly in K–12 schools. This political movement to cancel discussions of race and racism in schools began with the Trump administration’s executive order to eliminate critical race theory in all areas of the workplace before he left office. While the executive order was rescinded by the Biden administration, several states have passed laws, rejecting any form of anti-racist pedagogy in K–12 schools. Proponents of the rejection of critical race theory argue that groups cannot be marked or stigmatized as morally incompetent or superior to other groups. In addition, they assert that no group should feel discomfort because of their history and that groups should not be discriminated against because of their race. Furthermore, proponents insist education should not be taught in an ideological or political manner. Critics offer that political efforts by far-right ideologues to reject anti-racist pedagogy can hinder students’ understanding of race, violence, and inequality. They also argue that these efforts are unethical, as they silence a critical education, in which students can read of the world of violence as a means to critique issues of racism, discrimination, and inequitable treatment toward communities of color. Debating, critiquing, and responding to racial violence in U.S. society are critical to the maintenance and preservation of democracy. Advocates for social justice education argue that the political is pedagogical, that racial violence toward communities of color requires an ethical and moral interrogation of our values as educators. Therefore, critics of those who decenter anti-racist pedagogy in a culture of racial violence suggest that their claims to a neutral education rest on unethical terms for social justice.

Article

Inclusive and Special Education in Canada and the United States  

Laura Sokal and Jennifer Katz

The development of inclusive educational practices and their current practices differ significantly between the North American nations of Canada and the United States. Although these countries do share similarities in both theoretical underpinnings and educational programming, the current differences in policy oversight nationally and at the provincial and state levels promote a wider range of policy and programmatic differences across Canada than in the United States. Governance structures, the resulting policies, and their similarities and differences between and within these countries serve as foundations that underpin innovative inclusive educational programming in each country. The interplay between legislation and activism has both reflected and provoked the movement away from special education and toward inclusive education to varying degrees in both Canada and the United States.

Article

A Transnational History of Intellectual Exchanges with the United States and the Shaping of Latin American Education  

Rafaela Rabelo

At the beginning of the 20th century, the United States stood out internationally as a reference in pedagogical innovations and educational research. Teachers College (TC) at Columbia University in New York was one of the most renowned institutions that received students from many countries. Between the 1920s and 1940s, TC received more than 300 Latin American students. Some were already teachers or held administrative positions in their home countries. Upon their return, these Latin American educationalists promoted the circulation of what they had studied at TC by leading educational reforms, working on teacher training, and translating books. Later, several held prominent positions as university professors, in public administration, or as heads of research laboratories.

Article

African Centered Education  

Kmt G. Shockley

African centered education (ACE) is a type of pedagogy and educational practice that centers the needs and interests of Black children and communities by requiring educators to become familiar with the issues, problems, and perspectives that exist within Black communities. Pedagogically, it involves including ideas and practices that come from African cultural groups (such as Ashanti, Zulu, Wolof, etc.) into the educational process. Several theories provide the major constructs upon which ACE is articulated, namely: (a) an understanding that Black people are, in fact, Africans; (b) an understanding that all people identified as being of African descent are Africans with a common aim and destiny, a sentiment called Pan Africanism; (c) the practice of re-Africanization, which relates to adopting aspects of indigenous African cultural practice into one’s life; (d) the adoption of traditional/indigenous African values, such as the ancient concept of Maat, into one’s life; (e) the practice of Black nationalism, which relates to believing that people of African descent constitute a nation that must be built for survival and sustainment; (f) an understanding and belief that educational institutions for Black children must be fully controlled by people of African descent; and (g) an understanding that there is a difference between education—which is the type of knowledge transmission process that Black youth need in order to solve problems and build institutions within their own communities, and schooling—which relates to the culturally mismatched training process that Black children are receiving in schools which prevents them from being able to use their “education” to solve problems and build institutions within their own communities.

Article

Democracy and Education in the United States  

Kathy Hytten

There is an integral and reciprocal relationship between democracy and education. Democracy is more than a political system or process, it is also a way of life that requires certain habits and dispositions of citizens, including the need to balance individual rights with commitments and responsibilities toward others. Currently, democracy is under threat, in part because of the shallow and reductive ways it has been taken up in practice. Understanding the historical relationship between democracy and education, particularly how democracy was positioned as part of the development of public schools, as well as current approaches to democratic schooling, can help to revitalize the democratic mission of education. Specifically, schools have an important civic role in cultivating in students the habits and dispositions of citizenship, including how to access information, determine the veracity of claims, think critically, research problems, ask questions, collaborate with others, communicate ideas, and act to improve the world. Curriculum, pedagogy, and organizational structures are unique in democratic schools. Developing an active, inquiry-based curriculum; using a problem-posing pedagogy; and organizing schools such that students develop habits of responsibility and social engagement provide our best hope for revitalizing democracy and ensuring that it is not simply an empty slogan but a rich, participatory, justice-oriented way of life.

Article

Parental Involvement in the United States  

Amy Shuffelton

Parental involvement is frequently touted as a key part of any solution to the achievement gap in US schools. Yet the mainstream model of parental involvement has been challenged on the grounds that it neglects parents’ political agency, the cultural diversity of families, and the empirical evidence of limited efficacy. This article argues that to understand parental involvement’s promise and limitations, it is necessary to consider it in historical context. Accordingly, it traces the history of “parental involvement” as a policy goal through the past half century. It provides an account of the mainstream parental involvement research, as well as critiques. Ultimately, the article argues that parental involvement is neither boon nor bane. As an important aspect of the politics of public schooling, parental involvement has diverse effects, which can support or hinder equity and student success.

Article

Writing Qualitative Dissertations  

Sherick Hughes

Writing qualitative dissertations represents an internationally recognized pinnacle for students of higher education. The pressures and incentives for students approaching the dissertation writing landscape are undeniable. Unfortunately, too many doctoral students are offered limited strategies to begin navigating it. Moreover, doctoral students seeking maps from Education and other social science literature to guide them will find limited peer-reviewed scholarship that addresses the complexity of writing defensible qualitative dissertations. Too many doctoral students instead turn to some of the most popular qualitative dissertation textbooks that tend to provide limited representations of the writing landscape, albeit unintentional. These students may begin writing only to find that such landscape representations prepare them inadequately for the complexity of the territory. It is a territory filled with a variety of evolving writing tasks and possibilities. Doctoral students may consider at least seven evolving sets of tasks (ESTs) as strategies for navigating the messy terrain of the qualitative dissertation writing territory.

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Culturally Responsive Evaluation as a Form of Critical Qualitative Inquiry  

Michelle Bryan and Ashlee Lewis

As a form of applied research, program evaluation is concerned with determining the worth, merit, or value of a program or project using various research methods. Over the past 20 years, the field of program evaluation has seen an expansion in the number of approaches deemed useful in accomplishing the goals of an evaluation. One of the newest approaches to the practice of evaluation is culturally responsive evaluation. Practitioners of CRE draw from a “responsive approach” to evaluation that involves being attuned to and responsive toward not only the program itself, but also its larger cultural context and the lives and experiences of program staff and stakeholders. CRE views culture broadly as the totality of shared beliefs, behaviors, values, and customs socially transmitted within a group and which shapes group members’ world view and ways of life. Further, with respect to their work, culturally responsive evaluators share similar commitments with scholars to critical qualitative inquiry, including a belief in moving inquiry (evaluation) beyond description to intervention in the pursuit of progressive social change, as well as positioning their work as a means by which to confront injustices in society, particularly the marginalization of people of color. Owing to these beliefs and aims, culturally responsive evaluators tend to lean toward a more qualitative orientation, both epistemologically and methodologically. Thus, when taken up in practice, culturally responsive evaluation can be read as a form of critical qualitative inquiry.

Article

Sex Segregated Schools to Challenge Gender and Racial Bias  

Kathryn Herr, Kathleen Grant, and Jeremy Price

Sex segregated schooling in the United States is one of the fastest-growing movements in education in the 21st century. The current movement toward single-sex schooling is embedded in a national discourse of school choice and an adoption of market principles in education. This framing espouses that when schools compete for educational consumers, the needs of those currently underserved in U.S. schools will be better served and their academic performance will improve. Scholars argue that there are three main rationales typically put forward for sex segregated schools: they will eliminate distractions and harassment from the other sex; they can address the espoused different learning styles of boys and girls, and, finally, they can remedy inequities experienced by low-income students of color. Many of the single sex schools have large proportions of low-income youth of color. In general, while the sex segregated structure of these schools seems to offer opportunities to disrupt gendered stereotypes, there is little evidence that this occurs. Instead, as society’s conceptualizations of sexuality and gender evolve, single-sex education upholds a largely heteronormative and cisgendered understanding of gender and sexuality. Much of the research documents a reinforcement of gendered stereotypes and heterosexism. The literature on single-sex schools for boys also presents a puzzling mix of academic success for some boys, and no significant difference for others. There is little attention to the accomplishments and current experiences of girls in single-sex schools at the K–12 levels. Research shows that successful schools, whether they are single-sex or coeducational, tend to have factors in common like creating strong mentoring relationships and keeping smaller class sizes. In sum, research would indicate that the rationales noted earlier to justify the development of sex segregated schools are not much realized in the research.

Article

Influence of Medical and Social Perspectives of Disability on Models of Inclusive Education in the United States  

David Connor and Louis Olander

Ideological disputes about what human differences constitute disabilities undergird two very distinct positions that are known as medical and social models of disability. The positions significantly impact how inclusive education is envisioned and enacted, with proponents of each model holding fast to what they believe is “best” for students. Related areas of significant dissension among the two viewpoints include: (a) the concept of disability and “appropriate” placement of students deemed disabled, (b) the purpose of schools, (c) the nature of teaching and learning, (d) a teacher’s roles, (e) the notion of student success and failure, and (f) perceptions of social justice and disability. These interconnected and sometimes overlapping areas convey how medical or social models of inclusive education can vary dramatically, depending upon an educator’s general ideological disposition toward disability or difference.

Article

1964 Freedom Schools in the United States  

Kristal Moore Clemons

The 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer Project served thousands of children and adults in over 40 Freedom Schools created to combat voter suppression and encourage youth to engage in the Civil Rights Movement. The Mississippi Freedom Summer Project included three main initiatives: Freedom Schools and community centers, voter registration on the official state rolls, and a freedom registration plan designed to independently elect a slate of delegates to the 1964 Democratic National Convention. Voter registration was the cornerstone of the Mississippi Freedom Summer, and approximately 17,000 Black residents of Mississippi attempted to register to vote in 1964, but only 1,600 of the applications were accepted by the registrars. The Freedom Schools utilized a curriculum focused on the philosophical tenets of the Civil Rights Movement, arithmetic, reading, writing, and African American history. The purpose was to supplement what children in the various counties in Mississippi were not receiving in their traditional public school setting. Marian Wright Edelman, activist and founder of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), reinvigorated the contemporary Freedom Schools movement in the 1990s. The CDF’s Black Community Crusade for Children saw the CDF Freedom Schools program as an intergenerational collaboration between Civil Rights Movement–era activists and younger generations.

Article

K–12 School Employee Perpetrated Student Sexual Abuse, Misconduct, and Exploitation  

Charol Shakeshaft

K–12 school employee perpetrated student sexual abuse, misconduct, and exploitation is the sexual boundary crossing of school employees to include verbal, visual, physical, and/or social media conduct of a sexual nature by a school employee directed toward a student. The sexual abuse of students by school employees is a worldwide problem that is under-documented and systematically ignored. Empirical work published since the first studies in the early 1980s explore five questions. How prevalent is the sexual abuse of students in schools? Who abuses? Who is abused? How does it happen? And, how can it be prevented?