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  1. Inside the Mission Hill School: Democratic Education in Practice Matthew Knoester

  2. Research Questions: What Makes the Mission Hill School Unique? How Does it Use its smallness and autonomies as a pilot school? How does it go about achieving its mission of education for Democratic Citizenship? What are the dilemmas involved and forces working against the school’s mission?

  3. Research Questions: What Makes the Mission Hill School Unique? How Does it Use its smallness and autonomies as a pilot school? How does it go about achieving its mission of education for Democratic Citizenship? What are the dilemmas involved and forces working against the school’s mission?

  4. Research Questions: What Makes the Mission Hill School Unique? How Does it Use its smallness and autonomies as a pilot school? How does it go about achieving its mission of education for Democratic Citizenship? What are the dilemmas involved and forces working against the school’s mission?

  5. Research Questions: What Makes the Mission Hill School Unique? How Does it Use its smallness and autonomies as a pilot school? How does it go about achieving its mission of education for Democratic Citizenship? What are the dilemmas involved and forces working against the school’s mission?

  6. Research Questions: What Makes the Mission Hill School Unique? How Does it Use its smallness and autonomies as a pilot school? How does it go about achieving its mission of education for Democratic Citizenship? What are the dilemmas involved and forces working against the school’s mission?

  7. Methods: Interviewed 63 people intimately familiar with the school—staff, parents, and graduates Transcribed the interviews Analyzed the data using nvivo Iteratively coded, and constantly compared the codes Wrote memoes based on the codes Surveyed the graduates Wrote a portrait of the school carefully choosing quotations representing major points of view and organized around five core categories

  8. Methods: Interviewed 63 people intimately familiar with the school—staff, parents, and graduates Transcribed the interviews Analyzed the data using nvivo Iteratively coded, and constantly compared the codes Wrote memoes based on the codes Surveyed the graduates Wrote a portrait of the school carefully choosing quotations representing major points of view and organized around five core categories

  9. Methods: Interviewed 63 people intimately familiar with the school—staff, parents, and graduates Transcribed the interviews Analyzed the data using nvivo Iteratively coded, and constantly compared the codes Wrote memoes based on the codes Surveyed the graduates Wrote a portrait of the school carefully choosing quotations representing major points of view and organized around five core categories

  10. Methods: Interviewed 63 people intimately familiar with the school—staff, parents, and graduates Transcribed the interviews Analyzed the data using nvivo Iteratively coded, and constantly compared the codes Wrote memoes based on the codes Surveyed the graduates Wrote a portrait of the school carefully choosing quotations representing major points of view and organized around five core categories

  11. Methods: Interviewed 63 people intimately familiar with the school—staff, parents, and graduates Transcribed the interviews Analyzed the data using nvivo Iteratively coded, and constantly compared the codes Wrote memoes based on the codes Surveyed the graduates Wrote a portrait of the school carefully choosing quotations representing major points of view and organized around five core categories

  12. Methods: Interviewed 63 people intimately familiar with the school—staff, parents, and graduates Transcribed the interviews Analyzed the data using nvivo Iteratively coded, and constantly compared the codes Wrote memoes based on the codes Surveyed the graduates Wrote a portrait of the school carefully choosing quotations representing major points of view and organized around five core categories

  13. Methods: Interviewed 63 people intimately familiar with the school—staff, parents, and graduates Transcribed the interviews Analyzed the data using nvivo Iteratively coded, and constantly compared the codes Wrote memoes based on the codes Surveyed the graduates Wrote a portrait of the school carefully choosing quotations representing major points of view and organized around five core categories

  14. Methods: Interviewed 63 people intimately familiar with the school—staff, parents, and graduates Transcribed the interviews Analyzed the data using nvivo Iteratively coded, and constantly compared the codes Wrote memoes based on the codes Surveyed the graduates Wrote a portrait of the school carefully choosing quotations representing major points of view and organized around five core categories

  15. Theoretical Framework: Amy Gutmann’s theory of Democratic Education Critical Educational Theorists concerned with the production and Reproduction of Inequalities in and by Schools Theoretical alternatives to five key causes of reproduction

  16. Theoretical Framework: Amy Gutmann’s theory of Democratic Education Critical Educational Theorists concerned with the production and Reproduction of Inequalities in and by Schools Theoretical alternatives to five key causes of reproduction

  17. Theoretical Framework: Amy Gutmann’s theory of Democratic Education Critical Educational Theorists concerned with the production and Reproduction of Inequalities in and by Schools Theoretical alternatives to five key causes of reproduction

  18. Theoretical Framework: Amy Gutmann’s theory of Democratic Education Critical Educational Theorists concerned with the production and Reproduction of Inequalities in and by Schools Theoretical alternatives to five key causes of reproduction

  19. Five challenges to Democratic Education: Schools are insensitive and disrespectful to the diverse cultures they serve Schools do not seek the voices of their constituents Schools too often treat their students as prisoners Schools have reductionist views of human nature and learning Schools undervalue the key relationship between the teacher and the student

  20. Five challenges to Democratic Education: Schools are insensitive and disrespectful to the diverse cultures they serve Schools do not seek the voices of their constituents Schools too often treat their students as prisoners Schools have reductionist views of human nature and learning Schools undervalue the key relationship between the teacher and the student

  21. Five challenges to Democratic Education: Schools are insensitive and disrespectful to the diverse cultures they serve Schools do not seek the voices of their constituents Schools too often treat their students as prisoners Schools have reductionist views of human nature and learning Schools undervalue the key relationship between the teacher and the student

  22. Five challenges to Democratic Education: Schools are insensitive and disrespectful to the diverse cultures they serve Schools do not seek the voices of their constituents Schools too often treat their students as prisoners Schools have reductionist views of human nature and learning Schools undervalue the key relationship between the teacher and the student

  23. Five challenges to Democratic Education: Schools are insensitive and disrespectful to the diverse cultures they serve Schools do not seek the voices of their constituents Schools too often treat their students as prisoners Schools have reductionist views of human nature and learning Schools undervalue the key relationship between the teacher and the student

  24. Five challenges to Democratic Education: Schools are insensitive and disrespectful to the diverse cultures they serve Schools do not seek the voices of their constituents Schools too often treat their students as prisoners Schools have reductionist views of human nature and learning Schools undervalue the key relationship between the teacher and the student

  25. Because of the powerful forces of inequality and suppression that are hegemonic in our society and schools, a truly democratic school must be aware of, and continuously thoughtful, innovative, and courageous, in counteracting these forces

  26. Findings: Mission Hill School put in place Eleven key strategies or practices to create a welcoming and inclusive school community

  27. 11 Strategies for Inclusion: Keep the school small Hire a Culturally diverse staff Hire parents at the school Avoid tracking students Do not celebrate holidays Organize many gatherings Include many voices in decision-making Communicate with parents often and clearly Discuss race and class Build community among the staff Keep the school informal and comfortable

  28. 11 Strategies for Inclusion: Keep the school small Hire a Culturally diverse staff Hire parents at the school Avoid tracking students Do not celebrate holidays Organize many gatherings Include many voices in decision-making Communicate with parents often and clearly Discuss race and class Build community among the staff Keep the school informal and comfortable

  29. 11 Strategies for Inclusion: Keep the school small Hire a Culturally diverse staff Hire parents at the school Avoid tracking students Do not celebrate holidays Organize many gatherings Include many voices in decision-making Communicate with parents often and clearly Discuss race and class Build community among the staff Keep the school informal and comfortable

  30. 11 Strategies for Inclusion: Keep the school small Hire a Culturally diverse staff Hire parents at the school Avoid tracking students Do not celebrate holidays Organize many gatherings Include many voices in decision-making Communicate with parents often and clearly Discuss race and class Build community among the staff Keep the school informal and comfortable

  31. 11 Strategies for Inclusion: Keep the school small Hire a Culturally diverse staff Hire parents at the school Avoid tracking students Do not celebrate holidays Organize many gatherings Include many voices in decision-making Communicate with parents often and clearly Discuss race and class Build community among the staff Keep the school informal and comfortable

  32. 11 Strategies for Inclusion: Keep the school small Hire a Culturally diverse staff Hire parents at the school Avoid tracking students Do not celebrate holidays Organize many gatherings Include many voices in decision-making Communicate with parents often and clearly Discuss race and class Build community among the staff Keep the school informal and comfortable

  33. 11 Strategies for Inclusion: Keep the school small Hire a Culturally diverse staff Hire parents at the school Avoid tracking students Do not celebrate holidays Organize many gatherings Include many voices in decision-making Communicate with parents often and clearly Discuss race and class Build community among the staff Keep the school informal and comfortable

  34. 11 Strategies for Inclusion: Keep the school small Hire a Culturally diverse staff Hire parents at the school Avoid tracking students Do not celebrate holidays Organize many gatherings Include many voices in decision-making Communicate with parents often and clearly Discuss race and class Build community among the staff Keep the school informal and comfortable

  35. 11 Strategies for Inclusion: Keep the school small Hire a Culturally diverse staff Hire parents at the school Avoid tracking students Do not celebrate holidays Organize many gatherings Include many voices in decision-making Communicate with parents often and clearly Discuss race and class Build community among the staff Keep the school informal and comfortable

  36. 11 Strategies for Inclusion: Keep the school small Hire a Culturally diverse staff Hire parents at the school Avoid tracking students Do not celebrate holidays Organize many gatherings Include many voices in decision-making Communicate with parents often and clearly Discuss race, class, and gender Build community among the staff Keep the school informal and comfortable

  37. 11 Strategies for Inclusion: Keep the school small Hire a Culturally diverse staff Hire parents at the school Avoid tracking students Do not celebrate holidays Organize many gatherings Include many voices in decision-making Communicate with parents often and clearly Discuss race, class, and gender Build community among the staff Keep the school informal and comfortable

  38. 11 Strategies for Inclusion: Keep the school small Hire a Culturally diverse staff Hire parents at the school Avoid tracking students Do not celebrate holidays Organize many gatherings Include many voices in decision-making Communicate with parents often and clearly Discuss race, class, and gender Build community among the staff Keep the school informal and comfortable

  39. “There are so many potlucks and this and that, where you feel like it becomes a community, basically. You can only help but feel a part of it. You don’t get a chance to feel separate. I like that, because it means…you know, you smile when you come in here.” –a parent

  40. “ These people really cared, and just for them to know [my children], and to know the struggles…it was amazing. It used to bring tears to my eyes when I would go in there and they would care so much…It was quite the holistic approach to education, which I don’t see anywhere else.” –a parent

  41. Findings: Mission Hill School put in place eleven key strategies or practices to create a welcoming and inclusive school community Mission Hill School put in place several shared-governance structures to include a wide range of voices in decision-making

  42. Shared-governance structures: Governance board consisting of parents, staff, community members, and students Staff governance Family council Family consultations with teachers Panel of teachers, parents, and community members oversees and evaluates portfolio presentations

  43. Shared-governance structures: Governance board consisting of parents, staff, community members, and students Staff governance Family council Family consultations with teachers Panel of teachers, parents, and community members oversees and evaluates portfolio presentations

  44. Shared-governance structures: Governance board consisting of parents, staff, community members, and students Staff governance Family council Family consultations with teachers Panel of teachers, parents, and community members oversees and evaluates portfolio presentations

  45. Shared-governance structures: Governance board consisting of parents, staff, community members, and students Staff governance Family council Family consultations with teachers Panel of teachers, parents, and community members oversees and evaluates portfolio presentations

  46. Shared-governance structures: Governance board consisting of parents, staff, community members, and students Staff governance Family council Family consultations with teachers Panel of teachers, parents, and community members oversees and evaluates portfolio presentations

  47. Shared-governance structures: Governance board consisting of parents, staff, community members, and students Staff governance Family council Family consultations with teachers Panel of teachers, parents, and community members oversees and evaluates portfolio presentations

  48. “Reasonable choices are generally public choices. That is to say, they are choices informed by an extension of perspective and by the reformulation of private interests in the setting of potential public goals. To be reasonable is therefore not to deny Self, but to place Self in the context of Other and to inform it with a sense of dependence on the civic polity.” –B.Barber

  49. Dilemmas and/or questions raised by participants: Who is included in the “constituency?” Whose voice is heard? Why does the family council dominated by white families in a diverse school? Are democratic processes consistently followed?

  50. Dilemmas and/or questions raised by participants: Who is included in the “constituency?” Whose voice is heard? Why does the family council dominated by white families in a diverse school? Are democratic processes consistently followed?