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Toward a Spatial Approach to Normative Theorizing in Education

Mon, April 12, 2:50 to 4:20pm EDT (2:50 to 4:20pm EDT), SIG Sessions, SIG-Philosophical Studies in Education Paper and Symposium Sessions


Over the past 30 years, significant shifts in educational policy have led to the redistribution of authority over educational decisionmaking. While these policy shifts seem to violate key democratic principles, well documented pathologies in our traditional school governance arrangements weakens the democratic case against these changes. This paper argues that any democratic theory of education that hopes to be action-guiding under present nonideal conditions must attend to these pathological features of democratic school governance. In particular, taking these challenges seriously demands that theorists attend to the spatial dynamics of our social relations, recognizing that location—literally, where we are in the world—plays a key role in how we relate to one another.