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Emancipatory schools, school choice, and the United States: considering alternative educational possibilities and tensions, with Porto Alegre as a model

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Abstract:

In Porto Alegre, Brazil, the Citizen School Project exemplifies a model of a creative and innovative democratic school reform that has successfully educated marginalized children and citizens in the city, and under significant economic stress (Gandin & Fischman, 2006). This paper envisions Freire’s educational ideals for U.S. schools and its marginalized groups of students, using Porto Alegre’s Citizen School Project and the political, economic, and social conditions contextual within its project, as a basis for comparison and consideration for U.S. schools. Specifically, I aim to address how current U.S. school choice policies, under considerable federal and state neoliberal influences and rational market theory assumptions, might aid and/or hinder progress towards the creation of political projects and schools that include, as was expressed by the coordinators of the Citizen School Project, “a democratic educational policy, aimed at social inclusion and emancipation of impoverished people” (Azevedo, in Gandin & Fischman, 2006). Democratic accountability in U.S. schooling is becoming increasingly limited by an influential private/ public policy environment (DiMartino & Scott, 2013) and I will explore how this market efficiency environment creates situations to be problematized for educators with Freirean vision, ethics, and hope. Porto Alegre’s successful democratic education project could provide a model and tool for conceptualizing possibilities for real, democratic educational alternatives, even within the tension-filled policy structures that exist in the United States.

References
DiMartino, C., & Scott, J. (2013). Private sector contracting and democratic accountability. Educational Policy, 27(2), 307-333.
Gandin, L. A. & Fischman, G. E. (2006). Participatory democratic education: Is the utopia possible? Porto Alegre's Citizen School Project. In J. L. Kincheloe, K. Hayes, K. Rose, & P. M. Anderson (Eds.), The Praeger Handbook of Urban Education, Vol 1 (pp. 135-146). Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group.
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Name: Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference
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http://www.cies.us


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p708078_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Potterton, Amanda. "Emancipatory schools, school choice, and the United States: considering alternative educational possibilities and tensions, with Porto Alegre as a model" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference, Sheraton Centre Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p708078_index.html>

APA Citation:

Potterton, A. "Emancipatory schools, school choice, and the United States: considering alternative educational possibilities and tensions, with Porto Alegre as a model" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference, Sheraton Centre Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p708078_index.html

Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: In Porto Alegre, Brazil, the Citizen School Project exemplifies a model of a creative and innovative democratic school reform that has successfully educated marginalized children and citizens in the city, and under significant economic stress (Gandin & Fischman, 2006). This paper envisions Freire’s educational ideals for U.S. schools and its marginalized groups of students, using Porto Alegre’s Citizen School Project and the political, economic, and social conditions contextual within its project, as a basis for comparison and consideration for U.S. schools. Specifically, I aim to address how current U.S. school choice policies, under considerable federal and state neoliberal influences and rational market theory assumptions, might aid and/or hinder progress towards the creation of political projects and schools that include, as was expressed by the coordinators of the Citizen School Project, “a democratic educational policy, aimed at social inclusion and emancipation of impoverished people” (Azevedo, in Gandin & Fischman, 2006). Democratic accountability in U.S. schooling is becoming increasingly limited by an influential private/ public policy environment (DiMartino & Scott, 2013) and I will explore how this market efficiency environment creates situations to be problematized for educators with Freirean vision, ethics, and hope. Porto Alegre’s successful democratic education project could provide a model and tool for conceptualizing possibilities for real, democratic educational alternatives, even within the tension-filled policy structures that exist in the United States.

References
DiMartino, C., & Scott, J. (2013). Private sector contracting and democratic accountability. Educational Policy, 27(2), 307-333.
Gandin, L. A. & Fischman, G. E. (2006). Participatory democratic education: Is the utopia possible? Porto Alegre's Citizen School Project. In J. L. Kincheloe, K. Hayes, K. Rose, & P. M. Anderson (Eds.), The Praeger Handbook of Urban Education, Vol 1 (pp. 135-146). Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group.


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