Combating Hatred for the Soul of America: Watershed Moments for Transformational Educators raises important questions concerning the survival of our American democracy and the roles that educators can play in saving it. The January 6th Capitol riots brought to the surface deep-seated hatreds and cultural divisions that threaten our very soul as a nation. This book presents specific examples of hatred based on racism and social injustices found at both the national and local levels. It also describes specific actions taken by educators to combat such hatred. In doing this these educators actually became transformational leaders.
Terrance L. Furin was a social studies teacher for twelve years and a public school superintendent for twenty two. He is currently an affiliate professor at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia where he teaches in the educational leadership department’s doctoral program helping to prepare transformational educational leaders.
List of Figures
Introduction: Watershed Challenges and Opportunities for Transformational Educators
1The Power of Symbols: Dixie – a Flag and a Song
2The Power of Symbols: Hanging Nooses, Institutionalized Racism and Educators Building Bridges across Racial Divides
3The Power of Symbols: Auschwitz, Anti-semitism and a School Prayer Crisis
4Combating a Neo-Nazi Hate Group
5Transformational Educators Combating Student Alienation
6 Transformational Leadership
7Inspirational Transformational Educational Leaders
8Becoming Transformational Educational Leaders through Personal Growth
9Creating Communities of Learners
About the Author
Sad to say, a week does not pass without me coming across reports of racial and religious intolerance rearing its ugly head in a school community somewhere, even in settings where one might expect to find progressive thinkers. When I consider the school system leaders I’ve encountered who’ve taken on these issues directly, Terry Furin appears atop my list. He’s proven he has the courage to stand up to intolerance in speech and deed and to find teachable moments in addressing these unfortunate acts. For that reason, all of us in education ought to cheer the arrival of his latest published work addressing these issues.
When the first two editions of Terry Furin’s Combating Hatred: Transformational Educators Striving for Social Justice were published in 2009 and 2019, it seemed reasonable to claim that school leadership was facing challenging times. It may well be that “challenging times” have become “critical times.” The polarization in many communities has become more pronounced as school board meetings have become more and more contentious. In this update Furin expands and deepens the democratic leadership perspective he introduced earlier. He again draws from theoretical and interdisciplinary perspectives to provide teachers and administrators with case studies they can adapt to their own contexts. And he connects those case studies to recent current events suggesting ways educators can lead students and communities back into productive democratic dialogue.
Within this edition, Dr. Furin resumes his research of hatred-inspired actions and events that continue to shock our country, communities, and schools. He masterfully weaves into his descriptions the bold and compassionate responses of school leaders striving for unity, liberty, and justice for all children. This book is a must-read for educators determined to create and sustain cultures of equity and social justice.
Combatting Hatred confronts current and aspiring leaders with the reality that acts of hatred will continue to significantly impact the goals of education. Yet at the same time, Furin draws on a diverse set of thought leaders - from legendary educational thinkers to everyday teachers - to share strategies on how to navigate these challenges in equity-oriented ways. For me, the power of Combatting Hatred rests in Furin’s seamless weaving of historical and contemporary events, transformational leadership theory, and his own wisdom of practice.
The timing of Dr. Terrance Furin's latest book cannot be more appropriate. With the recent proliferation of school violence in the form of shootings and the disturbing incidents of hate crimes, along with the insurrection by White Supremacists on our nation's Capitol on January 6th, we as a nation are at an existential inflection point in our nation's history. Dr Furin's book,Combating Hatred for the Soul of America: Watershed Moments for Transformational Educators, third in the Combating Hatred series, will prove to be a valuable resource for all educators truly interested in finding ways to confront and help uproot systemic racism and better ensure the safety and welfare of their students and make a difference in our society. Dr. Furin uses the very effective case study method to reveal strategies that can be helpful in building understanding and harmony among all elements of the school community. Combating Hatred is an important guidebook for school leaders as it brings theory and practice together around the vital topic of confronting hatred and systemic racism. In this new edition, Dr. Furin shares his insights gleaned from more than fifty years as an extraordinarily effective and creative educational leader.