No amount of rhetoric about “transformational leadership” or “collaboration” masks the habitual anti-democratic and anti-worker approaches of most superintendents I’ve experienced. Top-down “reforms” are cycled through our district more rapidly than the superintendents themselves, and it’s rare that teachers and parents are genuinely involved in the creation of such initiatives.
Authored By Bob Peterson
We should not call the people to school to receive instructions, postulations, recipes, threats, reprimands, and punishments, but to collectively participate in the construction of knowledge, and that takes into account their necessities and turns it into an instrument of struggle, allowing for their transformation into protagonists of their own history. Popular participation in the creation of culture and education breaks with the tradition that only the elite is competent and knows what the needs and interests of the society are. The school should also be a center for the illumination] of popular culture, at the service of the community, not to consume it but to create it.
In other words, educators, parents, and community members need to create schools together that are centers of community renaissance and resistance. We need to educate children to have the skills, dispositions, and civic courage to challenge the status quo, to connect with parents and their communities to fight for a more just and sustainable world. Freire spoke of creating the “popular public school” as “a school with another ‘face,’ one that is more joyful, harmonious, and democratic.” Can you imagine your superintendent outlining goals like that? Read the article>