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Working for Social Justice Inside and Outside the Classroom

A Community of Students, Teachers, Researchers, and Activists

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Edited By Nancye E. McCrary and E. Wayne Ross

What were once distinct professions for serving others and building knowledge are now communities of workers struggling against a tide of increasingly unregulated capitalism that is being fed by human greed. Teachers have become education workers, joining a working class that is rapidly falling behind and that is increasingly being silenced by the power elite who control nearly all the wealth that once supported a thriving middle class. Working for Social Justice Inside and Outside the Classroom delivers critical counter-narratives aimed at resisting the insatiable greed of a few and supporting a common good for most. The book is dedicated to hopeful communities working against perpetual war, the destruction of our natural environment, increasing poverty, and social inequalities as they fight to preserve democratic ideals in a just and sustainable world. Written by some of the most influential thinkers of our time, this collection is a tapestry of social justice issues woven in and out of formal and informal education.
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Chapter Five: On the Urgency and Relevance of Research for Marxists

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FIVE

On the Urgency and Relevance of Research for Marxists

Faith Agostinone-Wilson

Overview

Under capitalism, research that reflects the interests of the ruling class is often that which is the most funded, promoted, and easily accessed. Within the field of education, research that uncritically accepts the inevitability of evidentiary tenets of high-stakes, standardized testing such as No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, Response to Intervention, and Common Core typically receives the most support, along with “school choice” research funded by think tanks (Scott & Jabbar, 2014). For example, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, one of the largest professional organizations for educators, has a “topics” tab on their website where people can access existing resources and research. The totality of the topics listed include: 21st century skills, brain-based learning, building academic vocabulary, character education, classroom management, Common Core, democratic education, differentiated instruction, effective teaching and leading, English language learners, inclusion and special education, multicultural education, multiple intelligences, response to intervention, school culture/climate, school safety, school standards, student assessment, student mentoring, understanding by design, what works in schools, and whole child. Additionally, those studies that use quantitative approaches are also privileged over qualitative, both in terms of funding and prestige of publication (Denzin, 2009; Denzin & Giardina, 2006; Roth, 2002). Analyses that involve a more critical stance, including the use of qualitative methodologies, are marginalized, either by being contained to independent journals or relegated...

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