Introduction: From the Editor

Introduction: From the Editor

Pink, William T

Three interesting articles make up this spring 2004 issue of Educational Foundations. In the first, “An Exploration of Myles Horton’s Democratic Praxis: Highlander Folk School,” Barbara J. Thayer-Bacon revisits the legacy of Horton in creating a school where “people could learn from each other and use education as a means to challenge the unjust social system affecting their lives.” Thayer-Bacon interrogates both the practices undertaken at the Highlander Folk School and the “theoretical implications their practice has to teach us about a relational, pluralistic democratic theory.” She ends with a numberOf recommendations forpublic schools that might make them more democratic social institutions.

In the second article, “Music Informance as Embodied Service Learning,” Mary Ann Doyle, Gwen hotchkiss, Marie Noel, Ann Huss, and Rebecca Holmes explore a number of questions about the type and impact of service learning activities in the preparation programs for preservice teachers. In particular, they ask “what kinds of experiences are likely to benefit preservice teachers’ understanding of collaborative partnerships?” and “what might we learn from preservice teachers’ enthusiasm for and resistance to greater participation in shared decision-making and community involvement?” The authors then use these questions “as an interpretive framework for the evaluation of a collaborative project” involving music. Their case raises a number of important questions about teacher preparation that involve collaboration among peers, schools, and university faculty.

In the final article, “Creating an Image for Black Higher Education: A Visual Examination of the United Negro College Fund’s Publicity, 1944-1960,” Marybeth Gasman and Edward Epstein focus on the central question “Why did the UNCF, in its efforts to secure funds for black higher education, choose not to adopt the black-inspired designs being used for publicity by other African American organizations-but instead stick to a conventional style with themes that reflected loyalty and patriotism?” This interesting study uses “visual communications as a way to illuminate race relations and higher education from 1944-1960.” Gasman and Epstein explore the style, layout, and the “correspondence of text and image” to surface “several themes . .. including … attitudes towards social integration; the curriculum and needs of the black colleges; and idealization, loyalty, and patriotism.” They present what they suggest is an “African American perspective on the history of graphic design.”

As ever, I encourage rejoinders to these and previous articles in the journal. It is only through open dialogue that we can increase the importance and influence of scholarship in the field of eduational foundations.

William T. Pink


Copyright Caddo Gap Press Spring 2004

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