I see a worry about small learning communities (SLCs) that I hadn't recognized before. When I read the Roth et al. article on identity, I got a reflected sense of the injustice of people in the school who held power over resources for science education. Roth's answer to some of my queries verified my suspicion that the resources were reserved for what might once have been called higher tracks of students and teachers. It is okay to know that the teacher (and co-author) from the setting studied is no longer in the basement and at the mercy of resource holders.
But what about SLCs overall and the cultural keep away routines we are familiar with from tracking in schools?
As it stewed and I mulled, I am more and more thinking about how easy it could be for SLCs to be the back door way for tracking to flourish with its worst intent and consequences.
Massive money (e.g. Gates' funds, some fed funds) and many policy initiatives are going into SLCs for high schools and enthusiasm for them is high. It seems as if some good learning, teaching, and changing of ideas about schooling is possible in many of them. Many, too, are in and of communities that have been historically treated with inequality.
Maybe the issue is well in hand, and I am just out of touch. Can anyone tell me who is minding the "attack inequality (re)production" store with respect to SLCs and any potential they have for letting the worst of tracking sneak in?
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Research Affiliation: Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition
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