This introduction to the volume outlines the conception of the pedagogical city. The author stresses flows, or continuous exchange between citizens as specific to city life. Such flows concern also thinking, which contributes to the creation of a community that one may identify, afer Aristotle, as koinopolis – an educational community of shared thinking, ‘a great teacher’. Against the background of the condition of the global city, the conception of pedagogical city contributes to the theory of social pedagogy, and to the conception of pedagogy of place in particular (including urban community education). One may speak, in this context, of koinpolitanism – a trait of thinking capable of inspiring the flow of changes taking place in the cities of today. The papers collected in this volume contribute to the development of this idea.
Family engagement favorably influences student achievement, yet information addressing how schools and communities can effectively partner with diverse families remains lacking. This paper examines two examples that are illustrative of the some of “best” examples of parent engagement; yet they are still problematic. Using the theoretical frameworks of liberalism and postcolonial theory, this paper critiques these cases and specifically the concepts of capacity building, agency, and empowerment as they relate to urban parents’ school engagement. A critical examination of these cases yields the following conclusion and implication for researchers and practitioners alike: what might change and how might these “best” examples of parent engagement be less harmful if rather than perceiving parents as having a deficit and needing knowledge, principals, school administrators, teachers, and parents themselves capitalized on the strengths and knowledge parents already possess about their children and their communities rather than feeling obliged to dispel information and craf tparent engagement as it has traditionally been constructed and exemplified in these programs?