Introduction: From the editor

Introduction: From the editor

Pink, William T

Five articles are included in this Fall 2000 issue of Educational Foundations. As is usually the case, they demonstrate both the importance and range of work being done in the fields that comprise the educational foundations.

In the first article, “Wanted: White, Anti-racist Identities,” Barbara Applebaum revisits the issues raised by those advocating the eradication of whiteness. She positions herself as a “justice educator” and does three things in her paper. First, she examines what she considers “conceptual confusions” at the heart of the “New Abolitionists’ position.” Then she uses this thinking to help construct “a positive, white, anti-racist identity.” Finally, she makes the case that such an identity is “fundamental to the success of any social justice educational initiative.”

In the second article, “Social Distribution, Ghettoization, and Educational Triage: A Marxist Analysis,” Jeanne Cameron sets out to extend a previous analysis by Sue Books. She notes that “Today, many urban students are being written off as unworthy of scarce educational resources or as poor investments…” The paper has three sections. Cameron uses both Weber and Marx to discuss how educational triage is best understood theoretically. In the second section she explores “how broader processes of social distribution and triage link up.. with day-to-day practices and policies in urban classrooms.” Finally, she argues that we need a “unifying rhetoric” to support a “fundamental social redistribution.”

In the third article, “Segregation, Desegregation, and the Creation of a New System of Racial Inequality,” Scott Baker uses a case study of Charleston, South Carolina “to analyze the new more rational, legally defensible, durable forms of desegregation and discrimination that replaced caste arrangements in public education.” In particular, he focuses on the development and implications of high stakes tests for both teachers and students.

In the fourth article, “Education for Freedom: What the Communitarians Add,” Gordon Gates explores the “communitarian concept of community as it applies to education for freedom.” Gates structures his paper into four sections. In the first, he revisits the communitarian position “with specific attention to arguments about community revitalization.” The second section explores key criticisms of communitarianism. The third section argues that communitarians give extended “preferential treatment to Western value narrative.” Finally, Gates argues that communitarian views can be used to support the development of education for freedom.

In the final article, “The Transformative Challenge of Rural Context,” Aimee Howley and Craig Howley revisit the interpretations given to the term rural. They note the difference between a mainstream and critical view, especially at “the intersection between schooling and life circumstance.” Noting that “the rural” has been both “idealized and demonized,” they argue that “the lives of many rural students are shaped by important commitments that can serve as antidotes to some of the most venal and destructive consequences of capitalism.”

I want to take this opportunity to wish you a very happy and successful New Year. As ever, I welcome your comments about these and previous articles published in Educational Foundations.

-William T. Pink

Editor

Copyright Caddo Gap Press Fall 2000

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