True Frames, a project of Spirit in Action, is actively supporting grassroots education advocates and communicators to develop a more powerful narrative about the future of public education.
True Frames, is a10-part YouTube series now under development. It is a result of years of work by Spirit in Action in the education justice field, listening and talking to leading educational advocates, movement leaders and folks on the ground (click here to listen to them talk about education justice).
What we realized is that there are a number of key issues that must be addressed by education advocates and organizations in order to develop a shared narrative that supports public understanding and advances a transformative agenda while keeping a commitment to public education. Simply put, we often want the same things but get bogged down in debates and language that separates rather than unifies us.
Through each episode of True Frames our goal is to encourage dialogue to resolve points of tension in the current education debate. Our hope is that the series as a whole will move the conversation about public education in a way that strengthens our language and common stance in advocating for change.
Ten episodes have been identified to spark engagement and discussion. (We use the term “frames” to describe the common language that can help us advocate for what we want.) These frames can help us come together with individuals with whom we might differ ideologically, but can unify us from a place of shared values. To date, we have completed two episodes:
- Relevant to Life – Examines the purpose of the education we need and how schools have acted as both liberator and assimilator. It calls on us to advance a positive agenda, based on what we want now. (See the video here.)
- End Profiteering – Links corporatization with charters, vouchers, and online schools. It shows that the term “profiteering” is a better frame for alliance building with charter schools that are acting in the public interest and makes room for good corporate actors as potential supporters. (See the video here.)
The next eight episodes are planned to be (pending funding):
- Reclaiming and Reimagining Teaching and Learning in America – Tells the story of investments in the development of teacher-leaders and commitments within systems and communities and compare it against Teaching for America.
- The End of High Stakes and Standardization – This episode breaks down national policy and narrative from “A Nation at Risk” forward and why it hasn’t worked.
- Creating a Social Contract – Articulates a vision for the future of public education and what it means.
- The Right-sized Role of the Federal Government in Public Education – Breaks down the history of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and makes visible the role of systems and government in daily life – what it has been and what it could be.
- Agency and Equity – Advances a story of personalized and “deeper learning” that also attends to what communities need, collective efforts and culturally responsive instruction. This episode addresses demographic and technological shifts.
- Democratic Governance, Responsiveness and Accountability – Advances the need for community-owned and community-accountable solutions.
- Powerful Learning Conditions for Each and Every Teacher and Child – Changes in technology, understanding of neuroscience, cultural shifts, and teacher-led developments in student engagement are changing how and what needs to be learned and where.
- The New Purpose of Education is to Thrive – Communities, teachers, and students need conditions to support growth and learning.
We are asking those of you who believe public education to be one of the most sacred and important institutions we have to join us in making our collective voice heard.