What’s The Plan? An Open Letter To Secretary Of Education, Dr. Miguel Cardona

by Eric J. Weiner Dear Dr. Cardona: The violent, insurrectionist attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 was due, in part, to the success of the Nation’s system of public education, not its failure. Since Ronald Reagan announced in 1981 that “government is not the solution to our problem, government IS the problem,”…

Looking Back, Paying It Forward: A Shout-Out To My Mentors

by Eric J. Weiner The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves. — Steven Spielberg All mentors teach, but not all teachers become mentors. Mentors nurture, guide, teach, support, protect, challenge, help, listen, defend, critique, and unselfishly share their knowledge, time, and…

From Pain To Possibility: Critical Education And The Struggle to Save Democracy

by Eric J. Weiner Ours, like the moments after the Civil War and Reconstruction and after the civil rights movement, requires a different kind of thinking, a different kind of resiliency, or else we succumb to madness or resignation. —Eddie S. Glaude Jr. Those convictions and motives, upon which the Nazi regime drew, no longer…

History Under Siege: Trumpism, Counter-Memory and Schooling

by Eric J. Weiner Today in the United States is Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a time to bear witness and remember the savagery of Christopher Columbus and other European explorers when they first encountered indigenous peoples throughout the Americas. It’s also a day to recognize and celebrate the courage, knowledges, and cultures of indigenous peoples throughout…

Minima Pedagogica: Teachable Moments from the Damaged Life

by Eric J. Weiner Dedication As an “intellectual in emigration,” Theodor Adorno wrote Mimima Moralia, his book of philosophical, sociological, cultural, and psychological reflections “from the standpoint of subjective experience, [which] means that the pieces do not entirely measure up to the philosophy, of which they are nevertheless a part.” I have always been fascinated by this book. As…

Schooling and the Emergence of Free-Market Authoritarianism: The Struggle for Democratic Life

by Eric J. Weiner What is commonsense to most people who received a K-12 public education in the United States is that every formal system of state schooling throughout the modern world is designed to educate its students to develop, what Charles Lemert calls “sociologically competencies” within whatever ideological system is dominating at the time…