The Courageous Conversations Project: Interrogating Perspectives and Perceptions of Race, Poverty, and Schooling in South Africa and the United States

Chapter
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE, volume 29)

Abstract

Issues of race, poverty, and injustice are woven into the historical narratives of South Africa and the United States. Hundreds of years of tumultuous social upheavals in both countries – enslaving and marginalizing minorities, civil wars, power struggles between the powerful and the more powerful, periodic bursts of egalitarian initiatives – bring us to the modern era where we witness firsthand the continuation of racial and social strife and the attempts to address it. The Courageous Conversations Project attempts to elicit frank discourse on the subject of race, poverty, and schooling, understanding that present-day educational matters reside within the larger context of historical narratives. The project, coordinated by educational leaders in both countries, is committed to moving in a positive direction and is fueled by the courage of the participants to be actors in uncharted territory. The participants are creating an “aspirational space” to motivate others to join us in these conversations. This “space” bestrides the twin phenomena of poverty and race and attempts to unpack the economic forces at work as well as the family and social capital inheritances of youngsters in South African and US schools. For the school leaders who are involved in this project, we expect no less than steadfastness of purpose and a resolve to “make things happen.” They have all pledged to contribute to the project in the spirit of social change.

Keywords

Gini Index School Leader Child Poverty Historical Narrative Social Injustice 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational Leadership and AdministrationLong Island University/C.W. Post CampusBrookvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Education Policy StudiesStellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa

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