A note from the Executive Editor
November 14, 2016
On the occasional conference flyer or postcard, we have sometimes offered our most succinct expression of this journal’s purpose: “Democracy & Education – for people who can’t think of two more important things.” It made us smile to say it. And yet we awoke this week to find that the current election cycle in the United States had delivered on its threat to call into question the fundamental commitments that bind us together as a democratic nation. Today we worry that this social fabric, though stretched and frayed in so many places before, now nears its breaking point.
The cultural and political ascension of a narrative that openly embraces racism, misogyny, and xenophobia – among other virulent forms of bigotry – has shaken us to our core. We struggle to hold our friends and family tight, we worry about the safety of our neighbors and those already made vulnerable in society, and we stand before our students facing their fear of what will happen next and their perplexity at the divisions that cleave us apart.
We bring you the latest issue of Democracy & Education with a steadfast and unwavering commitment to the kind of open, engaged, inclusive dialog on which the future depends. We have never promised, nor delivered, the comfort of a single perspective or worldview in these pages, and while we feel deeply the need to marshal our efforts in opposition to the forces of intolerance, we do so by offering a place where the rigorous assessment of diverse perspectives and generous exploration of alternatives is the basis for our hope.
We offer our deepest gratitude to the authors and readers of this journal for being part of a community full of individuals who can talk and argue, who find their views stronger after that conversation or who find good reason to change their minds. Most of all, we respect everything you do to carry these ideas forward through your work in classrooms, schools, and communities.Scott Fletcher
The Challenges of Gaming for Democratic Education: The Case of iCivics
Jeremy Stoddard, Angela M. Banks, Christine Nemacheck, and Elizabeth Wenska
Sam and Cristina: A Critical Dialogue Between a Teacher and Student About the Commoditization of People of Color by Schools
Samuel J. Tanner and Cristina Corrie
The Common Core and Democratic Education: Examining Potential Costs and Benefits to Public and Private Autonomy
Benjamin J. Bindewald, Rory P. Tannebaum, and Patrick Womac
The Cultural Contours of Democracy: Indigenous Epistemologies Informing South African Citizenship
Patricia K. Kubow and Mina Min
Responses to Feature Articles
Going Beyond the Games with iCivics. A Response to “The Challenges of Gaming for Democratic Education: The Case of iCivics”
Brooke Blevins and Karon N. LeCompte Ph.D.
Deliberative Democracy: A Contested Interactive Space. A Response to "Deliberative Democracy in English Language Education: Cultural and Linguistic Inclusion in the School Community"
Esperanza De La Vega
Powerful Design Principles and Processes: Lessons from a Case of Ambitious Civics Education Curriculum Planning. A Response to "Reinventing the High School Government Course: Rigor, Simulations, and Learning from Text"
Is Group Therapy Democratic? Enduring Consequences of Outward Bound’s alignment with the Human Potential Movement. A Response to “How to Be Nice and Get What You Want: Structural Referents of 'Self’ and ‘Other’ in Experiential Education as (Un)Democratic Practice."
Band-Aids Don’t Fix Bullet Holes. A Response to “We Were There Too: Learning from Black Male Teachers in Mississippi about Successful Teaching of Black Students”
Melinda Jackson, Dari Green, Lori Latrice Martin, and Kenneth J. Fasching-Varner
The Changing Challenges of Transformational Resistance. A Response to "Building the Dream: Transformational Resistance, Community-Based Organizations, and the Civic Engagement of Latinos in the New South"
Edmund T. Hamann