This article combines discussions of the politics of education with personal storytelling to remind us why the continuing struggle over schooling – over what is and is not taught, over how it is taught and evaluated, over how students with different characteristics are treated, over how teachers and other school employees are respectfully dealt with, over how the relationship between schools and their communities can be democratized, and so much more – is absolutely crucial to the pursuit of social justice. Using the example of the book Democratic Schools, it suggests tactics for making critically democratic practices more visible. It also describes seven specific tasks that critical scholar/activists in education should perform if we are committed to challenging dominant relations in education and the larger society. Much more could be said about these tasks as well as about the structural inequalities of this society, just as much more could be added about the crucial role that schools can play both as an arena of reproducing inequalities and as an arena for critical understanding and action in changing these inequalities.
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