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Disruptive FixationSchool Reform and the Pitfalls of Techno-Idealism$
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Christo Sims

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691163987

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691163987.001.0001

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Community Fixations

Community Fixations

(p.139) 6 Community Fixations
Disruptive Fixation

Christo Sims

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines how powerful factions of the local community—in this case privileged parents of the Downtown School for Design, Media, and Technology—can wrest a philanthropic intervention and steer it toward their own ends and how reformers are compelled to acquiesce to these demands. As part of reformers' community fixations, parents and educators were imagined as connectable to each other in unprecedented ways thanks to recent advances in information and communication technologies, although the reformers also planned to offer more conventional mechanisms for parental involvement, such as the Parent–Teacher Association (PTA). The chapter first considers how parents were involved in community fixations at the Downtown School and how their hysteria about bullying and threats of exit fueled reformers' fears of an imminent collapse of their philanthropic project before discussing idealizations and conditions of community involvement as they relate to community fixations.

Keywords:   local community, privileged parents, Downtown School, media technology, community fixations, Parent–Teacher Association, bullying, imminent collapse, community involvement

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