Marta Ilardo, “Reflections on Little Rock”: Hannah Arendt, education and the “world in common”

It’s 1957 when, in Little Rock (a city in the south of the USA), the first anti-segregation laws to fight the deep climate of social and cultural inequality were promoted. The juridical claims concerned in particular a series of law decrees that proposed -through some relevant school reforms –  to extend the principle of equality onthe”visible minorities” – in particular the black communities.
With her “Reflections on Little Rock”, Hannah Arendt moves her attention to the schools involved by the reform, describes the related pictures she finds in the newspapers, and finally asks the following important questions: “Are we asking the children to change and improve the world?”; “Are we trying to carry on our political battles starting from a school reformation?” “Where are we when we are at school?” These are the fundamental questions of her analysis.  After having described the social and political event,  she suggests to rethink the role of the school as an inclusive, plural and democratic space.

Key-words: Public education, social right, plurality

Published on: N. 28 New Series – Year XIV 2018 – On violence