Harvard Educational Review
  1. Winter 2012 Issue »

    Transforming Teaching and Learning Through Social Movement in Mexican Public Middle Schools

    Santiago Rincón-Gallardo and Richard F. Elmore
    This article by Santiago Rincón-Gallardo and Richard F. Elmore explores the question of how and under what conditions a countercultural educational practice can be brought to scale as a reform initiative. Highlighting the evolution of the Learning Community Project (LCP) in Mexico, the authors present a practice that runs counter to the traditional culture and power relations of schooling. The authors examine how the LCP succeeded in expanding to hundreds of schools and was recently adopted as part of a national strategy to transform teaching and learning in nine thousand schools across Mexico. The authors connect knowledge on bringing instructional improvement to scale with social movement theory to advance the idea of educational change as a social movement. Rincón-Gallardo and Elmore explore the implications of the work of the LCP for theory, practice, and policy—calling for an alternative approach that challenges the traditional top-down view of educational practice and policy, and instead conceptualizes the teacher-student and policy-practice pairs as dialectical and horizontal relationships of mutual influence.

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    Santiago Rincón-Gallardo is a doctoral candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and a consultant for the Mexican Ministry of Education. His academic work explores the relationship between individuals and institutions while seeking to understand and promote educational change as a social movement. As an educator and organizer, he has worked for over a decade to promote grassroots educational change initiatives in Mexican public schools serving historically marginalized communities. He was a tri-chair of the Seventh Annual Alumni of Color Conference at HGSE and the cofounder and codirector of the Latin American and Caribbean Education Network and Radical Educators at HGSE. Currently, Rincón-Gallardo chairs the board of directors of the Institute for Democratic Education in America, an organization that is developing networks and building capacity among organizers, educators, and communities promoting democratic education across the United States and Puerto Rico.

    Richard F. Elmore is the Gregory R. Anrig Professor of Educational Leadership at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he is faculty cochair of the Doctorate in Education Leadership Program. Prior to joining the Harvard faculty, he taught in the College of Education at Michigan State University and in the Graduate School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. Elmore’s ongoing research and clinical work focus on building capacity for instructional improvement in low-performing schools. He spends one day a week in schools, working with teachers and administrators on instructional improvement. He recently edited a volume of reflections on the work of school reform by twenty leading educators, I used to think . . . And now I think (Harvard Education Press, 2011), and is coauthor with Elizabeth A. City, Sarah E. Fiarman, and Lee Teitel of Instructional Rounds in Education: A Network Approach to Improving Teaching and Learning (Harvard Education Press, 2009).

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    Winter 2012 Issue

    Abstracts

    Rules of the Culture and Personal Needs
    Witnesses’ Decision-Making Processes to Deal with Situations of Bullying in Middle School
    Silvia Diazgranados Ferráns, Robert L. Selman, and Luba Falk Feigenberg
    Transforming Teaching and Learning Through Social Movement in Mexican Public Middle Schools
    Santiago Rincón-Gallardo and Richard F. Elmore
    “Coming into Presence” as Mentally Ill in Academia
    A New Logic of Emancipation
    Rochelle Skogen

    Book Notes

    Postsecondary Education for American Indian and Alaska Natives
    Edited by Bryan McKinley Jones Brayboy, Amy J. Fann, Angelina E. Castagno, and Jessica A. Solyom

    Asian American Education—Identities, Racial Issues, and Languages
    Edited by Xue Lan Rong and Russell Endo