POST-ELECTION AMERICA

Voices from Teachers College

Mara Lee Grayson: Teachers’ Evolving Responsibilities in the Post-Election Classroom LATEST FEATURE

Following an election outcome that is proving traumatic for many, Mara Lee Grayson, a Ph.D. candidate in English Education at TC and a faculty member at Pace University, asks: "What is my responsibility to my students? Is it to provide solutions, answers, and platitudes I don’t have? Or is it just to sit with them and be honest, to reach across the painted boundaries that separate teacher and student and acknowledge the often overwhelming feelings that have become an unrelenting part of our daily existence?" Continue Reading ...

Sarah J. Brazaitis: White Women's Trump Card

Noting that 53 percent of white women voted for Donald Trump, Sarah J. Brazaitis, Senior Lecturer and M.A. Program Coordinator for Social-Organizational Psychology, asks: Why wouldn’t white women want a white woman as the leader of the free world? Why wouldn’t white women want to cast their vote so as to break the ultimate glass ceiling? Given that the alternative was a man who has expressed not just blatant sexism but actual misogyny and has done so repeatedly and publicly, why would a majority of white women not vote for Hillary Clinton? Brazaitis's conclusion: "For white women to speak out against sexism and misogyny – to deny a vote to Donald Trump – is to break from their alliance with white men... White women, then, risk losing their access to white male privilege if they unmask it."  Continue Reading ...

Peter T. Coleman: Conflict and Justice in Donald Trump’s America: A Nine-Point Strategy for Progressive Resistance, Resolution and Reconciliation

Writing in The Huffington Post, the Director of TC's Morton Deutsch Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution lays out a nine-point strategy to help Clinton supporters -- who constituted a majority -- cope with a new era. His advice includes, on the one hand, clarifying your bottom-line issues, making intelligent use of tried-and-true forms of non-violent civil disobedience, actively defending and supporting those at most at risk; and on the other, avoiding assumptions that all Trump supporters -- or even all Clinton supporters -- are alike, and finding opportunities for constructive conflict. Continue Reading ...

Christopher Emdin: Pain, Betrayal and the Recognition that “We Gon’ Be Alright”

Healing from the recent election must begin with a recognition by everyone that "someone who looks at many of us and only sees worthlessness has been chosen to be a representative of all of us." Even worse, "every time a person is confirmed, every time someone who is a white supremacist is asked to take another position of power," many people of color and immigrants will re-experience that pain and trauma "daily, weekly, monthly." Continue Reading ...

‌Trump or Hillary? Why – especially now – we shouldn't generalize or label one another: a personal story

Sarah Gonzalez, a master's degree student in Counseling Psychology, is grateful for the exposure New York City has given her to people of other races and religions. Her post-election advice: end generalization, labeling and intolerance of one another and instead lead by example. Continue Reading...

Erika Kitzmiller: Blame our education system's narrowed focus, rather than teachers, for voters' endorsement of "a misogynist, xenophobic, racist candidate."

Kitzmiller, a lecturer in the program in Social Studies & Education, argues in The Hechinger Report that "by passing and supporting legislation that privileges narrow testing over deliberative action, this nation has promoted a narrow sense of education." The result is schooling that "leaves little if any room for students to learn about this nation’s past, to engage in social studies or to learn scientific methods." Kitzmiller calls on schools to "educate our children about the promises and perils of this democratic nation that they will eventually inherit so that they truly understand the role that they have to play in preserving and promoting the democratic process for us all." Continue Reading...

Robbie McClintock: Turning Inward in Bleak Times: A call for a return to education as a means of self-formation

Drawing on Plato, Aristotle, Adams and Jefferson, Robbie McClintock, Professor Emeritus in the Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Education, argues that following the recent election, the bewilderment many feel can be addressed by focusing on formative justice – the unique attempt each of us makes to lead the life we deem most fit. "The long electoral campaign we have just endured mobilized pressing efforts, not to inform our reflection and deliberation, but to get each of us to act in one of two designated ways: to rouse ourselves by November 8th to mark the ballot for this party or that, McClintock writes. "[But] neither deft manipulation nor crude demagoguery will prevail where each person fully engages in her autonomous self-formation." Continue Reading ...

Aaron Pallas: What's the worst that could happen with Betsy DeVos as education secretary? Two scenarios

In a piece published in The Hechinger Report and reprinted in The Washington Post, Aaron Pallas, TC's Arthur I. Gates Professor of Sociology & Education, tries to ease his own anxiety about Betsy DeVos, President-elect Trump's pick for U.S. Secretary of Education, and comes up distinctly short. Pallas argues that either DeVos will precipitate a massive shift in funding that results, for the first time in American history, in the majority of school-aged children not being enrolled in traditional public schools, or else make incremental progress toward that goal, resulting in a major increase in home schooling. Continue Reading ...

Aaron Pallas: Trump, too, faces a new reality – the difficulty of enacting educational change

Writing in The Hechinger Report, Aaron Pallas, TC's Arthur I. Gates Professor of Sociology & Education, suggests that President Trump will find it harder to change education policy  than Candidate Trump did to talk about it. In particular, he notes that Trump's vision of states ponying up billions of additional dollars to support school choice for impoverished students may run into stiff local opposition. Continue Reading ...

Michael Rebell: Upholding Students' Rights in the Trump Era

The new president-elect has little apparent interest in or experience with educational policy issues. However, public education is still mainly influenced by state and local policies, offering major opportunities to maintain and advance students’ rights to meaningful educational opportunities. The Campaign for Educational Equity at Teachers College intends to expand and intensify its own on-going efforts to support students' rights. Continue Reading ...

Dino Sossi: The Beginning of Hope: Restoring Civil Discourse

Barack Obama – the hope candidate of Shepard Fairey’s iconic poster -- is one of the more restrained and civil politicians in recent memory. In the wake of an election in which political decorum was repeatedly violated, it's essential to follow his example by changing the tone of the national conversation. We can begin modeling that behavior here at Teachers College. Continue Reading ...

Hervé Varenne: Radical Democracy as the Human Condition

After an election outcome that many educators deplore, education anthropologist Hervé Varenne asks: What is the business of education – convincing people or allowing them to make up their own minds? And what are we to do with people who do not make the choices we make? Invoking Jacques Rancière, who "sides with the various shoemakers whom generations of philosophers have used as example of people who should not be involved in what we know call 'knowledge production,'” and TC's own Lawrence Cremin, Varenne argues that radical democracy may be the natural human condition. Continue Reading ...