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Education in the Media, Leadership and Activism, Philosophical Meanderings

What makes us citizens? #bloggermarch #sosmarch

Untitled by g_Walter

Untitled by g_Walter

This is, perhaps, my favorite passage from the Save Our Schools March website:

There is no greater mandate in education than guiding our children to act as responsible citizens engaged in their community, nation, and the world around them.

Most American public schools do not do this work. They are not built to do it. They are not scheduled or staffed to do it.

Be that as it may, many teachers practice an active citizenship everyday.They work hard to make themselves more “responsible citizens engaged in their community, nation, and the world around them,” including their schools and districts. They advocate for kids. They advocate fort learning. They advocate for progress, transformation, and change.

I am most interested in saving this part of our shared work. I am most interested in preserving our roles as an active adult citizens in the lives of our students.

I don’t think a contract, standard, assessment, or evaluation can make us citizens. I believe we decide to become citizens when we choose to learn about the world and help others in it.

I want to be part of a profession of citizens. I recognize that our school system doesn’t ask, contract, or pay us to be citizens. Maybe it shouldn’t; in fact, it can’t. However, our school system and department of education should at least give us teachers and students enough room to exercise our citizenship. We should be allowed to pursue inquiry-driven learning, and we should be responsible enough to use that learning to help others in all kinds of ways. We should be trusted – and we should trust our students – to take an interest in saving the world.

As our schools stand now, we are asked instead to recreate our faltering American society and speed its demise, as well as the demise of our local communities. How many of us are told to use a product in the classroom? How many of us are invited to leave campus with our students to take part in a service project as past of the school day?

How many of us acknowledge our fears and take the risks of citizenship regardless of what we’re told to do by a system built to deny teachers and students their individuality and agency?

I blog in solidarity with all the teachers, students, parents, and stakeholders who work to realize schools of citizens, rather than schools of scores. I blog in solidarity with learners who care deeply for other learners. I blog in solidarity with the problem-solvers who stand against the perpetrators and perpetuators of the status quo. I blog in solidarity with all of us acknowledging our fears and acting in spite of them. I hope I blog in solidarity with you.

Please help save our schools. Write today; march on Saturday, July 30th, 2011.

About Chad Sansing

I teach for the users. Opinions are mine; content is ours.


5 thoughts on “What makes us citizens? #bloggermarch #sosmarch

  1. For people to be properly ‘human’ first, so that they can become good citizens, it helps to put the prejudices aside in educational philosophy -this on educational philosophy may be intersting and useful to educators, school teachers sincerely interested in the subject:

    Posted by eoa | July 20, 2011, 10:17 am
  2. The purpose of public education is to ensure we have critical thinking democratic citizens. Meanwhile, we’re cutting out critical thinking with tests and stripping away social studies entirely. We’re selling the system to the highest bidder.

    Posted by johntspencer | July 20, 2011, 11:32 am
  3. Politicians and other status-quo interests have engineered a fearful climate so that the public can be triggered around a convenient target. For reasons I don’t sufficiently understand or don’t want the sadness to admit, public schools and the profession of teachers have been selected as the scapegoat for their failures to address the scary issues: health, economy, poverty, war, global warming, and on. On Saturday, we rally for freedom and have the opportunity to link hands with a long tradition standing against oppression.

    Posted by Joseph McCaleb | July 26, 2011, 8:20 am
  4. Im so glad to be joining this march. I wish we didn’t have to compete with the issue of the debt crises but we are being held hostage by that same group who bash teachers and seem to want to erase the poor and middle class.
    I do hope it isn’t an inferno outside because I haven’t felt this worked up since I was out marching in the ’60s.

    Thanks for your inspirational posts, Chad,


    Posted by blkdrama | July 26, 2011, 9:38 am


  1. Pingback: Blog For the Save Our Schools March #bloggermarch « Cooperative Catalyst - July 20, 2011

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