In his book Producing Success, Peter Demerath argues that Wilton Burnham High Sc

In his book Producing Success, Peter Demerath argues that Wilton Burnham High School in suburban Ohio places a strong emphasis on “prepar[ing] students for individualistic competition” (p. 73) both during and after high school. Although Demerath provides criticism of individualism (especially in chapters 6 and 7), it is also clear that the individualistic ethos at Wilton Burnham is at least part of the reason why the majority of that school’s graduates are able to successfully access higher education.
In describing his own attempts to create a “Social Justice Education Program” in Tucson, Arizona, Julio Cammarota argues that the Mexican-American students who are his focus must “learn through relationships” (p. 162) and avoid the “ethos of individualism” (p. 163). Cammarota argues that “[t]hose from working- or exploited-class backgrounds will struggle with individualism” because “dominant institutions..tend to dismiss the individual accomplishments and potentialities of the subordinate classes” and “working-class families and local cultural communities need the perseverance of their membership to secure the welfare of the whole” (p. 164, emphasis added).
Do you agree with Cammarota that individualism is more likely to be destructive for students like those described in his book Sueños Americanos? In other words, do you agree that a curriculum which focuses on community solidarity and “learning through relationships” is better in these cases?

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