About: Marilyn Gittell's scholarship


Working at the intersections of political science and education, Marilyn Gittell's scholarship focused on the relationship between larger political structures and educational and social inequality.  She was an advocate for participation in government and decentralization of education:

...decentralization and an increased policy role for the public in local educational policy will serve to balance the weight of professional power as well as offering wider choices for solutions to the pressing needs of educational systems in our large cities." (excerpt from Citizen Participation in Urban Schools).

As first posed in New York City and as it is reappearing elsewhere, the community control issue illustrates a classic political problem for established power--is the prevailing order capable of responding to pressures for social change, or does it weaken he entire structure by failure to reform itself? In a free society, response entails an enlargement of freedom and opportunity and in cases such as community control, a shift of some power to the formerly powerless. (Gittell, Ocean Hill-Brownsville: A Case Study, 1980).