Pathways of Education Reform ‘From Below’: Theorizing Social Movements as Grassroot Agents of Educational Change


  • Kai Heidemann Maastricht University



social movements, political sociology of education, education reform, education policy, institutionalism


No abstract available.


Andrews, K. T. (2002). Movement-countermovement dynamics and the emergence of new institutions: The case of “white flight” schools in Mississippi. Social Forces, 80(3), 911-936. DOI:

Anyon, J. (2009). Progressive social movements and educational equity. Educational Policy, 23(1), 194-215. DOI:

Apple, M. (2004 [1979]) Ideology and Curriculum. 3rd Edition. London: Routledge. DOI:

Armstrong, E. and Bernstein, M. (2008). Culture, power, and institutions: A multi-institutional politics approach to social movements. Sociological Theory, 26(1), 74-99. DOI:

Arnove, R. and Torres, C.A. [eds.] Comparative Education. The Dialectic of the Global and the Local, Plymouth: Rowman and Littlefield.

Ball, S. (1994). Education Reform. Philadelphia: Open University Press.

Bamattre, R. (2019) “Between state and society: Community schools in Zambia” in Clothey, R. and Heidemann, K. [eds] Another Way: Decentralization, Democratization and the Global Politics of Community-Based Schooling. (Rotterdam: Brill-Sense).

Bannerji, H., Carty, L. , Dehli, K., Heald, S., and McKenna, K.. (1991) Unsettling Relations: The University as a Site of Feminist Struggles. (Boston: South End Press).

Barrenechea, I., Beech, J. and Rivas, A. (2022). How can education system improve? A systematic literature review. Journal of Educational Change. DOI:

Binder, A. (2002) Contentious Curricula: Afrocentrism and Creationism in American Public Schools. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Bonal, X., Rambla, F. X., Calderón, E., & Pros, N. (2005). La descentralización educativa en España: Una mirada comparativa a los sistemas escolares de las comunidades autónomas. Barcelona: Fundació Carles Pi i Sunyer.

Bosi, L., Giugni, M. & Uba, K. (2016) The Consequences of Social Movements. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. DOI:

Bray, M. (2007) “Control of education: Issues and tensions in centralization and decentralization” in Arnove, R. and Torres, C.A. [eds.] Comparative Education: The dialectic of the global and the local, Third Edition. New York: Rowan and Littlefield.

Brint, S. (2006) Schools and Societies. 2nd Edition. Stanford: Stanford University Press. DOI:

Cahnmann, M., & Varghese, M. M. (2005). Critical advocacy and bilingual education in the United States. Linguistics and Education, 16(1), 59-73. DOI:

Carnoy, M.,and Rhoten, D. (2002). What does globalization mean for educational change? A comparative approach. Comparative Education Review, 46(1), 1-9. DOI:

Choudry, A. (2015) Learning Activism: The intellectual life of contemporary social movements. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Clothey, R. and Heidemann, K. [Eds.] (2019) Another Way: Decentralization, Democratization and the Global Politics of Community-Based Schooling. (Rotterdam: Brill-Sense). DOI:

Crawford, J. (2000) At war with diversity: US language policy in an age of anxiety. Philadelphia: Multilingual Matters. DOI:

Dale,R. (2005). Globalisation, Knowledge Economy and Comparative Education. Comparative education, 41(2), 117-149. DOI:

Delgado, A. (2014) Co-operatives and education in the Basque Country: The ikastolas in the final years of Franco’s dictatorship. History of Education, 43(5), 676-90. DOI:

Earl, J. (2000). Tanks, tear gas and taxes: Toward a theory of movement repression. Sociological Theory, 21(1) 44-68. DOI:

Edwards, B. (2019) “Accountability through community-based management? Implications from the local-level implementation in El Salvador of a globally popular model” in Clothey, R. and Heidemann, K. [eds] Another Way: Decentralization, Democratization and the Global Politics of Community-Based Schooling. Rotterdam: Brill-Sense.

Fligstein, N. and McAdam, D. (2012) A theory of fields. New York: Oxford Univesity Press. DOI:

Ginsburg, M. B. (1991). Understanding Educational Reform in Global Context: Economy, ideology, and the state. New York: Taylor & Francis.

Giugni, M. (1998). Was it worth the effort? The outcomes and consequences of social movements. Annual Review of Sociology, 24(1), 371-393. DOI:

Guzman-Concha, C. (2012) The Students’ Rebellion in Chile: Occupy Protest or Classic Social Movement? Social Movement Studies, 11(3-4):408-415. DOI:

Hanson, M. (2001). Institutional Theory and Educational Change. Educational Administration Quarterly, 37(5), 637-661. DOI:

Heidemann, K. (2014). In the Name of Language: School-based language revitalization, strategic solidarities, and state power in the French Basque Country. Journal of Language, Identity & Education, 13(1), 53-69. DOI:

Heidemann, K. and Clothey, R. (2019) “Community-based schooling and the intersectional politics of centralization and decentralization” in Clothey, R. and Heidemann, K. [eds] Another way: Decentralization, Democratization and the global politics of community-based schooling. Rotterdam: Brill.

Horn, G. R. (2017). “1968: a social movement sui generis” in Berger, S. and Nehring, H. [eds], The History of Social Movements in Global Perspective (pp. 515-541). London: Palgrave Macmillan. DOI:

Horsford, S., and Vasquez Heilig, J. (2014). Community-based education reform in urban contexts: Implications for leadership, policy, and accountability. Urban Education, 49(8), 867-870. DOI:

Hytten, K., & Bettez, S. C. (2011). Understanding education for social justice. Educational foundations, 25, 7-24.

Isaac, L. Jacobs, A., Kucinskas, J. and McGrath (2019) Social movements schools: Sites for conscious transformation, training and prefigurative social development. Social Movement Studies, 2:160-182. DOI:

Loewen, J. (1995) Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything American History Textbooks Get Wrong. (New York: The New Press).

McGinn N., and Walsh, T. (1999) Decentralization of education: Why, when and how? Paris: UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning.

Meyer, J., Ramirez, F., and Soysal, Y. (1992). World expansion of mass education, 1870-1980. Sociology of Education, 1:128-149. DOI:

Meyer, D. (2004). Protest and Political Opportunities. Annual Review of Sociology, 30:125-145. DOI:

Meyer, D., and Boutcher, S. (2007). Signals and Spillover: Brown v. Board of Education and other social movements. Perspectives on Politics, 5(1):81-93. DOI:

Morley, L., and Walsh, V. (Eds.). (1996). Breaking Boundaries: Women in higher education. (New York: Taylor & Francis).

Morrow, R. and Torres, C.A. (2007) “The State, Social Movements and Education Reform” in Arnove, R. and Torres, C.A. [Eds.] Comparative Education: The Dialectic of the Global and the Local. (New York: Rowan and Littlefield).

Niesz, T., Korora, A. M., Walkuski, C. B., & Foot, R. E. (2018). Social movements and educational research: Toward a united field of scholarship. Teachers College Record, 120(3), 1-41. DOI:

Oakes, J., and Lipton, M. (2002). Struggling for educational equity in diverse communities: School reform as social movement. Journal of Educational Change, 3(3), 383-406. DOI:

Powell, W. and DiMaggio. (1991). The New Institutionalism in Organizational Analysis. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. DOI:

Rofes, E. and Stulberg, L. (2004) The emancipatory promise of charter schools: Toward a progressive politics of school choice, Albany: SUNY Press.

Schneiberg, M., and Lounsbury, M. (2008). “Social movements and institutional analysis”. In Greenwood, R., Oliver, C., Sahlin, K. and Suddaby, R. [Eds.], The Handbook of Organizational Institutionalism, pp. 648- 670. (Thousand Oaks: Sage). DOI:

Shirley, D. (1997) Community organizing for urban school reform. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Skrentny, J. (2006). Policy-Elite Perceptions and Social Movement Success: Understanding variations in group inclusion in affirmative action. American Journal of Sociology, 111(6), 1762-1815. DOI:

Smith, J. and Wiest, D. (2012) Social movements in the world system. The politics of crisis and transformation. New York: Russell Sage.

Snow, D., Soule, S. and Kriesi, H [eds] (2004). The Blackwell companion to social movements. New York: Wiley-Blackwell. DOI:

Spring, J. (2009) Globalization of Education: An Introduction. New York:Routledge. DOI:

Stromquist, N. P., and Monkman, K. (Eds.). (2014). Globalization and Education: Integration and contestation across cultures. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield.

Su, C. (2009) Streetwise for booksmarts: Grassroots organizing and education reform in the Bronx. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Tarlau, R. (2015). Not-so-public contention: Movement strategies, regimes, and the transformation of public institutions in Brazil. Mobilization, 20(1), 101-121. DOI:

Tarrow, S. (1998) Power in movement. Social movements and contentious politics. New York: Cambridge University Press. DOI:

Timmer, A. (2019) “Decentralization, centralization and minority education in Hungary” in Clothey, R. and Heidemann, K. [eds] Another Way: Decentralization, Democratization and the Global Politics of Community-Based Schooling. Rotterdam: Brill-Sense.

Van Zanten, A., and Robert, A. (2000). " Plus ca Change..."? Changes and Continuities in Education Policy in France. Journal of Education Policy, 15(1), 1-4. DOI:

Warren, M. and Mapp, K. (2011) A match on dry grass: Community organizing as a catalyst for school reform. New York: Oxford University Press.

Willaime, J. P. (2007). “Different models for religion and education in Europe”, pp.57-66 in Jackson, R. Miedema, S., Weisse, W., and Willaime, J.P. [eds] Religion and Education in Europe: Developments, Contexts and Debates. Berlin: Waxman.

Zhao, D. (1998). Ecologies of social movements: Student mobilization during the 1989 prodemocracy movement in Beijing. American Journal of Sociology, 103(6), 1493-1529. DOI: