If a school were designed to address the questions you bring to it, which ones would you bring?


-School for Designing a Society



Imagining ‘Edutopias’

Deschooling for Social Justice

Autumn 2014

Tues & Thurs 1:30–3:20

Denny 209


Email List: chid480c_au14@uw.edu



Tamara Myers: chidtam@uw.edu (meeting hours: T/Th after class by appt.)

Addyson Frattura-Kampschroer: frattura@uw.edu (T: 3:30-5:30 Solstice)

Sabah Rod: sabahrod@uw.edu (T: 3:30-5:30 Solstice on the Ave)



“There Is No Alternative!” This statement is a political strategy used to maintain educational and social realities and it can act like a vice grip on our imaginations. But, when faced with injustice and dehumanization, people have always found ways to put their visions of a better world into practice in many ways, small and large. How have people enacted their visions of change educationally? How do they do so today? Those will be our main questions this quarter.


Building on the work of activists and scholars who view “utopia” as a practical tool for creating social change, this course begins with the idea that bringing utopian thinking into our educational change efforts can also be useful. This course uses two overlapping ideas – ‘edutopia’ and ‘utopian pedagogy’ – to invite participants into a process of critically analyzing, envisioning, and practicing radical pedagogies and projects within a broad framework of social justice.


Utilizing a “deschooling” framework, this quarter we’ll zoom in on community and social movement projects, organizations, institutions, and other political formations to examine how educators and learners are working outside K-12 schools and universities to enact education for transformative change. As we explore, we’ll draw on diverse intellectual and political (e.g., critical, postcolonial, indigenous, feminist, anarchist, autonomist) traditions and pedagogical traditions (e.g., democratic & queer, popular education, DIY education, unschooling, freeschooling, deschooling, alter-globalization & indigenous pedagogies) as we identify our own and others’ aspirations for transformative educational change.


The overarching aims of this course are to equip us with concepts to complicate thinking about educational problems; to enhance our creative capacities for envisioning transformative educational and social change; to identify and develop specific skills and knowledge for desired educational and social interventions; and to maintain curiosity about what might happen when members of a learning community complicate our roles and collaboratively and reflectively experiment with a variety of diverse ‘edutopian’ ideas, practices, and relationships in the context of a CHID course.


She’s on the horizon…I go two steps, she moves two steps away. I walk ten steps and the horizon runs ten steps ahead. No matter how much I walk, I’ll never reach her. What good is utopia? That’s what: it’s good for walking.


Eduardo Galeano (quoted in Duncombe, 2007)



Dec 5, 2014 9:50 PM
Potluck at Addyson's Friday, December 12, 2:30-4:20 - please label contributions and avoid pork a...
Send questions about this workspace to Tamara Myers.