- From the Editors
This issue of Race/Ethnicity explores the implications of race and ethnicity in systems of secondary education across the globe. We have chosen to focus on secondary education because it provides many children with their final level of formal education, making the content and character of that education a topic worth examining. In doing so, we recognize that formal learning environments must be considered within larger cultural, societal, national, and even global contexts to account for the overall impacts of the educational experience. All of these components work together to influence how children see themselves as individuals, national citizens, and global inhabitants.
The discussion begins with an excerpt from Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire (1970), which underlines the distinction between oppressive and transformative forms of education. Freire maintains that whereas oppressive forms of education discount the experiences and cultures of those being educated, transformative forms of education engage all participants in dialogue. The outcome of the struggle of marginalized populations to participate in meaningful ways within their societies depends on whether the educational environment is oppressive or transformative.
In addition, there are issues of access, equity, value, and reform that influence who gets educated—and how—in both developed and developing nations. The excerpt from Freire is followed by select responses of educators and practitioners from around the world; these investigate further the ways in which education is deployed, whether consciously or not, to influence identity formation and to define societies. While it is impossible, and not particularly desirable, to synthesize educational practices across the globe, the essays within this volume provide some insight into the similarities and differences in the education of children and how issues of race and ethnicity are engaged in that process.
Toward that purpose, we feature an interview including perspectives from Australia, Uganda, the Netherlands, the United States, and France that enables some comparison of educational practices, particularly showing how those practices influence concepts of citizenship. While they focus on their respective national educational systems, the diverse international experiences of Robin Burns, Grace Takaheebwa, Robert Aspelagh, Erica Frankenberg, and Sylvère Farraudiere provide a multifaceted examination of global education that crosses national borders and provides insight into the ways in which education affects global issues.
The interview is followed by an article that studies the tension around citizenship and belonging in European nation-states as they become increasingly diverse in race, ethnicity, religion, and culture. In particular, the conflict between heritagebased citizenship laws and continued demographic changes has challenged Germany on issues of ethnic integration and inclusiveness. Debora Hinderliter Ortloff examines whether or not educational policy and practice are capable of creating and en-acting [End Page v] more inclusive citizenship education in Bavaria, particularly among a growing immigrant population.
The punitive culture of public education and its role in both the minority achievement gap and mass minority incarceration in the United States is examined in the next essay. In particular, Lizbet Simmons calls attention to a public school at a prison in New Orleans, in order to further document how racial minorities, and African American males in particular, are criminalized by school disciplinary policies and how these policies foreshorten educational careers and increase risk for incarceration. The article concludes with a discussion of a grassroots student organization that has resisted the correctional school disciplinary model and has advocated for more positive educational investments.
Cynthia B. Dillard interprets Freire’s notion of praxis, the purposeful coming together of thought and action, as a call not to ignore the issues of educational access and opportunity. An African American educator, Dillard develops a deepening relationship with a village in Ghana, West Africa that shows praxis in action between two continents. Her success in building and administering a preschool, and her current efforts to erect an elementary school for the village of Mpeasem, is an act that embraces the reciprocal space between Africans on the continent and in the diaspora even as it enhances her work as a teacher, researcher, and human being.
The educational experiences of African American females within a predominately white, suburban school is the focus of the next essay, which features the voices of adolescents as they navigate the...