Against Schooling: Viewpoints of Tribal Students of Kanavu, India
Achieving what we believe to be the true purpose of education is a challenge in any society, particularly so in a society as diverse as contemporary India. Most attempts in this field are focussed on improving the access of children to education, but substantive questions such as: What is a school to a child? Does he/she enjoy learning? – are seldom addressed prior to drafting any curriculum or policy. Even where they are, the exploration tends to be qualitatively poor and devoid of stake holders’ views. Alternative educational organisations might offer a perspective on the crisis education seems to be in today, with children lacking lifeskills, governments grappling with retention, disparities across gender and caste and declining standards of education. ‘Kanavu’ is an educational organisation managed by tribal youth in Cheengode village of Wayanad, a hilly district in the southern state of Kerala, India. These are children who dropped out of mainstream schooling. In the light of efforts to mainstream tribal students into government schools and to control escalating dropout rates, this paper tries to understand the perspectives of the tribal students of Kanavu on schooling and their reasons for resisting mainstream schooling. This paper is a result of a 4 day visit and extensive correspondence the authors have had with this alternative learning organisation.
Teena AUGUSTINE and Milind BRAHME
Laying the Foundations for Democratic Behavior – A Comparison of Two Different Approaches to Democratic Education
A democracy is a society in which everyone has equal rights and is able to participate in decision-making processes. Consequently, in a democratic society, democratic behavior is essential. This work investigates the question: In what ways and to what extent can alternative models of education support the development of democratic skills in children? To explore this question, the author analyzes and compares two different approaches to democratic education: The Sudbury approach and the democratic free school approach. The study is based on qualitative research – participant observation and open-ended interviews conducted at different Sudbury and democratic free schools in the US.
Slow and Local: A Re-vision of Teacher Education in Ontario
Modern life has created a culture of speed and standardization, especially in the business world. Education is not immune to this culture and, in an effort to prepare teacher-candidates for modern classrooms, pre-service programs in Ontario (and elsewhere) seem to have adopted a business mentality, creating overstuffed classes, overfull timetables, and over-stressed future educators. This article critiques current pre-service program practices and presents slow living and terroir as guiding concepts for revising teacher education. It includes a context for program revision, inspirational observations made in French schools, and recommendations for pre-service programs based on those observations. As well, a model for a two-year consecutive teacher education program is presented, informed by the concepts and observations discussed.
The Construction and Perpetuation of Whiteness
White privilege is a prevalent phenomenon in Canadian society. One of the most discouraging aspects of this phenomenon is that white privilege and Whiteness ideology are not discussed sufficiently, which means the mentality and way society is functioning will continue to favour Whiteness ideology. This paper will explain exactly what Whiteness ideology is, where it stems from, and how it has been and continues to be constructed within the family, society, and the education system. Then, the paper will focus on ways to deconstruct Whiteness ideology in these areas, especially in the Canadian education system. Through autobiographical and secondary research, I will challenge the way in which Canadian society functions today.