RE: democratic classrooms

Date: Fri Apr 14 2000 - 11:21:24 EDT

Adriana makes some broad sweeping statements here that engage a lot of
stereotyping that seems to me to be ironic on an equity list. In my
experience she is certainly correct that there are classrooms and schools
where tremendous inequities prevail and where there is not the slightest
democratic impulse. But, in my experience, there can be classrooms within
schools where this happens right next to classrooms where teachers and
students work valiantly to embody equity and democratic principles.
I am concerned that when we cast this wide anti-techer net we do something
very inequitable by ignoring the many teachers who work for equity in their
classrooms and in their schools. Secondly, we can miss the systemic source
for inequities and blame some of the victims who are sometimes teachers who
work in schools where they are poorly paid, given unfair assignments, have
inadequate training, are isolated, and battered by critical and sometimes
selfish outside interests.

As for saying that school is ok for boys I'd suggest that Ariana look
closely at some of the research, and the rates of boy suicide, and the
referral rates of boys to special education, and to counseling...and to
talk to some boys....say from 4th to 12th grade and find out what school
has done to their spirit.
-David Marsters

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