Author's Final Manuscript
The SoJo Journal
This paper discusses the development of a U.S.-based undergraduate senior seminar toward a conflict-centered perspective of change in education. As practitioner researchers informed by Black, feminist and postcolonial studies, we analyze student writing from the course in order to elucidate the concepts of change, both explicit and tacit, that students draw on to make sense of the complexities inherent in educational work. Some student writing demonstrates a discourse of control, and thus a conception of agency, that both oversimplifies and promotes despair about the challenges at stake. By contrast, some student writing evinces an orientation towards struggle, rather than hope, which emerges as a more generative stance towards recognizing and responding to the structural violence in which education work is fully implicated. This perspective opens the analysis and the education course to understandings that situate power relationships more broadly and more historically than order-centered formulations of hope and change allow.
Curl, Heather and Alice Lesnick. 2017. "Beyond Fix It or Leave It: Toward Conflict-Centered Theories of Change in Education Work." The SoJo Journal 3.1.