Pragmatist Thinking for a Populist Moment: Democratic Contingency and Racial Re-Valuing in Education Governance
We examine school governance in populist era, using contemporary readings of pragmatist philosophy. We are in a “populist moment,” a time of uprisings and movements of the demos making political claims (Mouffe, 2018). School officials in the U.S. are subject to an array of political demands in the form of protests and campaigns. We focus on the struggles around critical race theory in K–12 schools. Glaude (2017) has advocated pragmatism’s use in light of racial revaluing and democratic struggle. Rogers’ work (2009) has highlighted inquiry, founded on contingency, in the face of disagreement and power struggles. These scholars show us educational governance’s dual task in this moment: a revaluing of racialized Others in educational institutions done while simultaneously crafting conditions for deliberative judgment and meaningful policymaking in the face of political contingency. In light of this racial reckoning, we argue that populism presents a democratic irony for educational governance. Racial justice cannot be achieved without populist expression, taking the form of campaigns and persistent nonviolent signals that institutional racism is unacceptable. Yet our populist moment also contributes to the increasing political polarization that makes the conditions for democratic deliberative policymaking more elusive. Deliberative conditions for policymaking and curriculum development in schools are critically necessary for reinventing and reimagining our shared society.
, Sellers, K. M.
Pragmatist Thinking for a Populist Moment: Democratic Contingency and Racial Re-Valuing in Education Governance.
Democracy and Education,
(1), Article 3.
Available at: https://democracyeducationjournal.org/home/vol31/iss1/3