AESA Statement of Concern

Greetings, AESA members and other listserv subscribers…

The Executive Council of the American Educational Studies Association
directs your attention to the following statement:

STATEMENT OF CONCERN (4/27/17)
The Executive Council of the American Educational Studies Association
wants to express publicly our deep concern about recent U.S.
executive, legislative, and judicial actions taken at odds with AESA’s
most deeply held values.  In the face of such actions, we want to
reaffirm truth, love, and justice as AESA’S guiding values.  AESA’s
scholarly commitments to public education, to democracy and the arts,
to cultural diversity and environmental sustainability, educational
equality and equity are reflected in our Standards for Academic and
Professional Instruction in Foundations of Education, Educational
Studies, and Educational Policy Studies.  Recent political rhetoric
and actions have imperiled our conscientious work to uphold them.

Our members’ language, inquiries, situations, standpoints, and
strategies for interpreting, expressing, and transmitting those deeply
shared core values in multiple disciplines are various and
dynamic–ever subject to elaboration, critical debate, and mutual
deliberation, irreducible to any dogma.  Yet the intensity of our
present shared concern moves us to make this brief public statement.

We condemn the targeting of any named religious, racial, sexual,
differently-abled, or ethnic group for exclusionary, discriminatory,
violent, and hateful speech or action as inconsistent with the
nation’s democratic ideals—harmful to children and profoundly
miseducative.  We hold dear the United States’ historic hospitality to
refugees from oppression elsewhere, so eloquently proclaimed on the
Statue of Liberty, yet so often abused and selectively applied, and
welcome diverse arts and humanities scholars and social-scientific
researchers who bring conscientious imagination, critical
intelligence, and practical wisdom to the educational challenges that
this national hospitality and its merciless contradictions require us
to meet.  We deplore the privatization and commercialization of public
schools and public colleges and universities as profoundly
undemocratic.  We value education that respects truths and their
experienced and observed complexities from diversely situated
perspectives; we condemn public deceit and falsehoods as public
miseducation.  We reject public attitudes of denial and indifference
toward the scientifically documented ecological crisis that now
afflicts our entire planet, damaging land, air, and water, and harming
human children while endangering countless species; such irresponsible
attitudes are profoundly miseducative.

All these severe challenges call for educators’ courage, creativity,
and wisdom.  These challenges impart practical urgency to AESA
members’ rigorous educational inquiry, thought, and criticism.  They
require our deliberate curricular, pedagogical, program, policy, and
community initiatives, in pragmatic ethical responses to these
challenges.  They demand our strategically vocal, conscientious
engagement in public controversies concerning them as well.

Sent by:
Jennifer Stoops
Social Media Fellow, Urban Education
The Graduate Center, CUNY

Communications Director
American Educational Studies Association

 

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Maxine Greene’s Legacy

Here is a tribute to Maxine Greene from Kurt Stemhagen, Executive Director of the Philosophy of Education Society. 

Former Philosophy of Education Society President Maxine Greene passed away Thursday at the age of 96. Her vast body of accomplishments on the part of the arts, continental philosophy, and education are well documented and too great to be enumerated in this brief announcement. Detailed accounts of her life and work can be found in the following links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxine_Greene

https://maxinegreene.org/

For the members of PES, she was a colleague, a mentor, a friend and a great inspiration. Her work in Phenomenology, aesthetics, and in thinking about social change, has left an indelible mark upon our collective work, and continues to challenge us to think beyond the “cotton wool” of every day experience, particularly those habits of mind that stultify academic discourse.

Maxine’s work is a testament to her Existentialist ethic of being forever “not yet.” She consistently found unexpected and unexplored corners in the overlap between philosophy and education, whether that meant a chapter on Melville in her early book on American education or a reinvention of the philosophical salon, held in her apartment overlooking Central Park on Sunday afternoons, in which sometimes forty or fifty people sat on the floor and stood in the hall to discuss favorite works of literature: Middlemarch, White Noise, Heart of Darkness.

Her perspective was not always received in the serious, earnest spirit with which it was offered. She often told a story of travelling to Bear Mountain to attend the nineteen sixty something spring meeting of the Middle Atlantic States Philosophy of Education Society, a boys’ club of analytical philosophers who tolerated her presence, to a point. That year, her paper on the power of poetics in relating the personal and the political was met with a two word response: “Fuck Rilke.” She always laughed at this part of the story, begging pardon for her “French,” and relating how frustrated she was by the easy dismissal of her ideas.

It may be obvious, but still worth pointing out that she was the one laughing at the end of that story, as time and changes in the culture of the academy made room for her brand of insight, and gradually eclipsed the work of those from whom she sought recognition. It may be even more obvious, and yet still worth stating that given the limited space for philosophical practice in a world of educational research ever more dominated by quantifiable gains, Maxine Greene’s legacy is even more important to us in remaining true to our work and finding new ways of articulating our ideas to the world beyond the academy.

Kurt Stemhagen, Associate Professor
Executive Director, Philosophy of Education Society
School of Education, Department of Foundations
Virginia Commonwealth University

Tribute to Maxine Greene (Word)   Tribute to Maxine Greene (PDF)