Year 2009 — Volume 3 — Issue 5

Claiming our democratic rights
Pages: 1-15

Using autobiographical research this paper reminds us that schooling and education are not the same things and that mainstream schooling is an undemocratic institution that “dumbs us down.” The paper also makes the point that we need to slow down and rethink why it is that we are pressuring and hurrying our children to do things in school and in life earlier and earlier, and we need to understand the damage that this is doing to them. Ultimately, the paper insists that we need to reclaim our democratic rights as children, parents, teachers, principals and citizens.
Carlo Ricci


Destructive Staffroom Discourse
Pages: 16-30

Holt’s first book “How Children Fail” set in motion the education reform of the 1960s. Holt illuminated the plethora of problems in ‘cookie-cutter’ mainstream schools, such as the culture of the fear of failure. This qualitative study examines the concept of the “Destructive Staffroom Discourse” in mainstream elementary schools as an impairment to the atmosphere necessary for learning to occur.
Jonathan Pitt and Kristian Kirkwood


Disempowering Families: An examination of school policy
Pages: 31-40

Quite often schools attempt to take on the unofficial role of the custodial parent, creating rules and regulations that infringe upon parents’ roles. Schools also limit the degree to which families can be involved in their children’s schooling. Some school-created literature that is available to parents takes on a tone of entitlement that some parents may not feel comfortable in challenging. As a result there is the potential to infringe upon family values and beliefs. This paper looks at three areas where schools have gone too far in their supposed role to educate children.
Michael McCabe


Reflections in Education: Considering the Impact of Schooling on the Learner
Pages: 41-58

Each child has unique gifts waiting to be discovered and cultivated. Unfortunately, our current school system does not always provide children with the opportunity to develop their special interests. The following article is a personal narrative structured as a series of reflections, and aims to reconsider schooling’s role in assisting the crucial development of creativity. Drawing from ideas of researchers in the field of alternative education, I present reflections on my role as an elementary school teacher, and I examine the impact of teaching, curriculum and our current evaluation system on the development of children’s creativity.
Kathleen Anderson