CONSTRUCTING PUBLIC SCHOOLING TODAY: DERISION, MULTICULTURALISM, NATIONALISM

Authors


  • MY THANKS to guest editors Kathleen Knight Abowitz and Chris Higgins; also to Nicholas Burbules, Walter Feinberg, and my colleagues in this issue, all of whom offered helpful criticism at the 2010 Educational Theory Summer Institute.

WALTER C. PARKER is Professor of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education at the University of Washington, 122 Miller Hall, Seattle, WA 98195-3600; e-mail <denver@uw.edu>. His primary areas of scholarship are social studies education, democratic education, and global education.

Abstract

In this article, Walter Parker brings structure and agency to the foreground of the current tumult of public schooling in the United States. He focuses on three structures that are serving as rules and resources for creative agency. These are a discourse of derision about failing schools, a broad mobilization of multiculturalism, and an enduring nationalism. Drawing on Anthony Giddens's structuration theory, Parker examines how these discourses figure in redefining school reform, redefining school curricula, and requiring schools once again to serve nationalistic purposes.

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