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Policing Education

Owl's picture

In Greg Dimitriadis' "Popular Culture, Pedagogy, and Urban Youth: Beyond Silenced Volices" I was intrigued his a sentence stating: "Accountability has become the watchword for policing what education can mean for youth in state-funded institutions" (233). I couldn't help but think about "Prisoners of a Hard Life" (a reading we did for our class on vision) and how the theme of over-policing: who has the power to police, and who and/or what are they policing, was prominant in many of the stories. 

In our first education class, we read a quote that said that the purpose of education was continually changing. I couldn't help but find this problematic, because I didn't understand why the PURPOSE of education needed to change/ be changed. I found myself contemplating both the reasons why the purpose of education would change as well as who had the power to make that call. Why is there a need to police education? I couldn't come up with an answer. All I could come up with was this notion that how we learn is dependent on individual ethnography, for ethnography is critical to understanding silenced voices (234), but I couldn't understand why individual ethnography could, at a policy level, alter what education means to the individual. In other words, why would my race, gender, or my urban upbringing affect what the purpose of education should be for me? Shouldn't the purpose of education be the same for everyone and the manner by which we arrive at that purpose or goal be different?