In response to the authors’ work on finding a more pragmatic approach to dealing with power, this commentary calls into question the possibility of a preestablished agenda by the researchers, who struggled to engage high school students. There might have been a case of overly ambitious expectations at work; also, the authors confess to being in the school only once a week and that their students were themselves struggling to find their place in a new charter school with an emphasis on social action. This response challenges the authors to reexamine their wish to engage students with institutional power by suggesting that they consider their own positions of power inside the school and classroom. Lastly, the response posits that rather than focusing on the limitations of service-learning and/or public achievement, which may make them appear as less desirable models for social action, we should consider such approaches as providing the very thing—small wins—the authors sought in and that educators should prepare their students for more substantial engagements with power.
Response to Article
Darwyn Fehrman and Aaron Schutz, Beyond the Catch-22 of School-Based Social Action Programs: Toward a More Pragmatic Approach for Dealing with Power
Students Have Their Own Minds. A Response to “Beyond the Catch-22 of School-Based Social Action Programs: Toward a More Pragmatic Approach for Dealing with Power”.
Democracy and Education,
(1), Article 9.
Available at: https://democracyeducationjournal.org/home/vol19/iss1/9