The Pedagogy, Power, and Politics of Excellence in Latina/o Schools and Communities
Chapter 4. Excellence as a Responsibility, as Curriculum and Pedagogy, and More Evidence of Its Power
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“Love is a combination of care, commitment, knowledge, responsibility, respect, and trust.”
The act of promoting excellence in the field of education today is a significant challenge. Proponents of a Pedagogy of Excellence will quickly learn that schools, particularly struggling urban public schools, will face resistance. The resistance is not because people are afraid, unwilling, or antagonistic towards excellence, but because they are not used to defining, discussing, recognizing, or learning from excellence. This deep-seated culture has not only created a dearth of recognition of excellence in our schools and communities, but has also prevented our communities from knowing and becoming inspired by excellence, which in turn has reinforced a culture that avoids or overlooks the possibilities associated with a focus on excellence, even in the presence of others who are thriving. I believe this is a culture we have created in the field of education. Teachers and other educators are accepted as humble, especially the really good ones. Or for other reasons, they function in a culture ← 75 | 76 → that stifles their excellence so they close their classroom door and do the work without any desire or expectation for recognition. Yet, this kind of culture denies new and veteran teachers opportunities for learning from these models of excellence, even in the very next classroom or school. Worse, students and parents are denied an awareness that these models of excellence exist in their own schools and communities, and anti-public-school...
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