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New DEEL 4th Annual Conference: Our Children: Economic Warriors or Democratic Ethical Citizens?

Susan Notes:

I'm pleased to be speaking at a conference that asks this question about children--and to receive an award name for someone who worked hard for public schools. I found out something about Helen Oakes work:

Ms. Oakes--earned a solid reputation as a source of information and insight into the workings of a major urban school system.

For 19 years, she published a newsletter dedicated to "improving public education." Each issue of the four-page report was devoted to a single topic, such as reading, special education, teacher contracts, or teenage pregnancy.

Ms. Oakes said the issues of greatest concern to her over the years were "the importance of developing a love of reading and a love of learning" and fostering "a school environment in which children understand they are cared about as individuals."

Nineteen years. I've only been doing this website for eight years. I guess I have a ways to go to live up to the award in Ms. Oakes' honor.

New DEEL 4th Annual Conference: Our Children: Economic Warriors or Democratic Ethical Citizens?


As our world starts to recover from the worst economic crisis in the past seventy years we stand at a crossroads; will we simply recreate the current failed system or seek to build a more secure life for ourselves and our children? Today our children are seen as merely economic warriors destined to compete with one another for scarce jobs in a world where insecurity is the rule and democratic community is a luxury beyond reach. Over-consumption and personal debt drive the bubble economy while the health of our planet is willfully ignored. In this environment high stakes testing and the factory model of education are imposed while nurturing the spirit of each child is considered irrelevant.

But we have another choice. Educational leaders can build alliances within and beyond
the school walls. They can promote a humane vision for our children's future based on
democratic ethical citizenship. The purpose of the 4th New DEEL Conference is to share
these possibilities and promote them around the world.

The New DEEL Mission Statement:
The mission of the New DEEL is to create an action-oriented
partnership, dedicated to inquiry into the nature and practice of
democratic, ethical educational leadership through sustained processes
of open dialogue, right to voice, community inclusion, and responsible
participation toward the common good. We strive to create an
environment to facilitate democratic ethical decision-making in
educational theory and practice which acts in the best interest of all

Helen Oakes Citizen Service to Education
Lecture and Award: Susan Ohanian

In 2009 we added a new annual award and lecture to our New DEEL conference
by initiating the Helen Oakes Citizen Service to Education series. Ms. Oakes is
an outstanding example of citizen activism, ethical leadership, and commitment
to democracy. Her work in Philadelphia during three decades was the focus of
the inaugural Oakes lecture delivered by William W. Cutler III.

This year Susan Ohanian will deliver the Helen Oakes lecture and receive the
Oakes award honoring citizen service to education. Ms. Ohanian is a former
teacher and has published hundreds of articles on education in such journals as
The Atlantic, Phi Delta Kappan, and Teachers College Record. She has written
over twenty books includingWhy is Corporate America Bashing our Public
(co-authored with K. Emery) and What Happened to Recess and Why
are our Children Struggling in Kindergarten?

— announcement



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