“Imagining the Impossible: New Opportunities for Educating in a Democracy”
2020 continues to unveil the gravity and complexity of this moment in history. As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves and more uprisings across the country unfold against massive racial disparities in police killings, use of force, arrests, imprisonment and more, we find ourselves as educators compelled to adapt and respond to these changing conditions.
Political and civil unrest is not new to the history of the National Network for Educational Renewal. Born from decades of educational research and scholarship during the 1940s-1980s, it is shaped by the shifting perspectives in education in response to World War 2, Vietnam War, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Civil Rights Movement, the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and other pivotal events in our United States history. John Goodladand his colleagues created NNER and its membership settings as school-university partnership implementation sites. These sites were and are exemplars, attesting to what is possible when equal yet different partners engage in issues of common concern, to include how and why we should educate in a democracy.
Since its inception, the National Network for Educational Renewal has promoted a compelling agenda, known as the Agenda for Education in a Democracy (AED), to ensure quality education for all and insist on educational renewal to ensure the vital role of education in a democracy. The 2020 NNER Summer Institute offered an opportunity to fully attest to this historical time as well as revisit the Agenda and the Network’s ancestral imagination.
The Institute produced a myriad of emotions from our membership participants ranging from fascination, frustration, and disappointment in response to the current state of education in the United States. Yet, it affirmed the role of NNER to impact change in various educational communities. As we consider explorations of the true purpose of NNER and the next steps, we will pursue to reform, renew, and build educational spaces.
Let us revisit our organization identity and mission to bring about change in education and adapt to our changing conditions. Let us collectively craft new possibilities of how NNER can shape pedagogy and support teachers to create change in the classroom by imagining the impossible.
Initial submissions are due December 30th, 2020. Click here to see the full call.