Archive for June, 2007

We have all been here before…

Jun 25 2007 Published by under borderland,education,politics

I found this old book in the university library, The Transformation of the School, by Lawrence A. Cremin. It’s a historical account of the progressive movement in American education (1867-1957). The book was written in 1961. The cover is loose, and it hasn’t been checked out since 1995, but it seems as good a place as any for me to begin reading up on the history of education reform. I’ve been thinking that a historical perspective might help me better understand the modern-day politics of schooling.

Coincidentally, Chris Lehman is also thinking about this. He has a reading list, as well. I completely agree with him when he says:

Let’s put our ideas in context. Let’s look backward as we look ahead. Let’s take the time to step back and, in the words of Robert Pirsig, ask ourselves not, “What’s new?” but instead ask ourselves, “What’s good?”

I’m only about a third of the way through my book, but my strongest impression so far is that education reform must surely be a mobius strip topic, since so many discussions about schools seem not to be oriented toward any concrete reference point. Note: “The future” is not a concrete reference point.

We can trace the relationship between education and social engineering back to Horace Mann’s idea of the Common School as an instrument for creating social good. And from there we inherit the struggle over Chris’ (and Pirsig’s) big question, “What is good?” Everyone has a stake in this discussion, which is why it’s important to know what it’s all about, and why.

I’m going to be off-blog/offline for a few days. Got some reading to do…

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Progressive Roots and Knots

Jun 23 2007 Published by under borderland,education,politics

I’m not much of a historian, and I’d never heard of George Counts until I learned about this speech. Addressing the Progressive Education Association’s annual conference, Counts described a world that seems all too familiar:

We live in troublous times; we live in an age of profound change; we live in an age of revolution….Today we are witnessing the rise of civilization quite without precedent in human history — a civilization which is founded on science, technology, and machinery, which possesses the most extraordinary power, and which is rapidly making the entire world a single great society. As a consequence of forces already released, whether in the field of economics, politics, morals, religion, or art, the old molds are being broken. And the peoples of the earth are seething with strange ideas and passions.
-from Dare Progressive Education be Progressive? 1932.

Counts delivered his speech during the height of the Great Depression, and his remarks stunned his audience, as he pointed a finger directly at their liberal complacency, implicating them in the perpetuation of the inequities they condemned. He acknowledged that the progressive education movement had achieved success in effecting positive changes to what might be generally classified as student-centered teaching practices. But Counts took progressives to task for the elitist orientation of their advocacy for school reforms, which he believed was rooted in a liberal individualism that has “elaborated no theory of social welfare.” He said that progressives lacked the moral backbone to make sacrifices, calling them “romantic sentimentalists.”

He said,

If Progressive Education is to be genuinely progressive, it must…establish an organic relation with the community, develop a realistic and comprehensive theory of welfare, fashion a compelling and challenging vision of human destiny, and become somewhat less frightened than it is today at the bogeys of imposition and indoctrination. In a word, Progressive Education cannot build its program out of the interests of the children: it cannot place its trust in a child-centered school.

How has anything changed since then? The problems that prompted his concerns seem remarkably immune to revision since they are still with us. And I wonder about my own role as a teacher in the cultural reproduction of a society in which privilege is measured by skin color, dialect, and material wealth. What am I willing to sacrifice? How will being a “good teacher” make any significant difference for kids whose social class marks them as most unlikely to succeed? What sacrifices might be necessary?

Counts believed that fundamental changes in the economic system were necessary, and the social agenda that he proposed is fraught with ethical contradictions for teachers. Artichoke and Lawrence Lessig are both thinking about the difficulty of working within a corrupt system without first acknowledging its corruption. As am I.

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Small Projects Loosely Joined

Jun 16 2007 Published by under borderland,education,politics,technology

I hijacked David Weinberger’s book title for this post, which is inspired by Grace Lee Boggs’s appearance on Bill Moyer’s Journal [transcript] yesterday. Boggs was introduced as a woman who, at the age of 91, “has been a part of almost every major movement in the United States in the last 75 years, including: Labor, Civil Rights, Black Power, Women’s Rights and Environmental Justice.”

Boggs’s appearance on Moyers’ show gave me an idea for a way to address Will’s comment on my last post. He said that we need to “articulate in clear ways the value and the values” of using read/write web technologies in school. He’s creating a list of talking points for the Edublogger/Con Unconference. I’ll come to that in a moment.

I was intrigued by this exchange:

BILL MOYERS: What will it take for this next round of change that you see as promising? What would it take?

GRACE LEE BOGGS: It takes discussions like this. I mean, it takes a whole lot of things. It takes people doing things. It takes people talking about things. It takes dialogue. It takes changing the whole lot of ways by which we think.

BILL MOYERS: Do you see any leaders who are advocating that change? I mean, people that we would all recognize, anybody we’d all recognize?

GRACE LEE BOGGS: I don’t see any leaders, and I think we have to rethink the concept of “leader.” ‘Cause “leader” implies “follower.” And, so many– not so many, but I think we need to appropriate, embrace the idea that we are the leaders we’ve been looking for.

Boggs said that the Civil Rights Movement taught her that positive changes spring from cultural change, and not from government. She said that we have to stop depending on government to initiate social change, and she explained that “the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism” which Martin Luther King spoke about in 1967 still haunt us because the struggle against them hasn’t been accompanied by the revolution of values necessary to effectively confront them.

Moyers asked her why, at the age of 91, she came to speak with him, and she told him she hoped the Beloved Communities Initiative she’s involved with now might show people a way to begin working toward positive social change.

Her vision sounds remarkably similar to what Paul Hawken described in an interview with Amy Goodman. He sees the

…rise of a movement that is a shift between a world created by and for privilege to a world created by community, and it details the rise of over one million organizations in the world who address civil liberties, social justice and the environment. And even though they"™re atomized and there"™s many of them and they don"™t seem connected, due to modern technology — cell, texting, internet — they’re starting to intertwine, morph and come together in ways that is making it much more powerful than it has been before.

He has a wiki called WiserEarth, intended (presumably) to bring some coherence to this anarchic movement. I’m not sure about that.

Back to Boggs, she shared some of her personal history in an article on Transformational Organizing, and she elaborated on her vision for change and the “revolution of values.” She urges people to become activists – but not activists in the sense of seizing power from the State or from each other. Boggs recommends that we take the initiative to make positive contributions to our local community by doing small things at the local level, like planting community gardens or looking out for our neighbors because “change takes place in living systems, not from above but from within, from many local actions occurring simultaneously.”

She said that her participation in the Civil Rights Movement taught her that our challenge now is to create new cultural institutions, enlarge our concept of citizenship, and directly take responsibility for our communities in small ways that will collectively make the world a better place.

A vision for educational technology that builds on those challenges might combine social action with digital storytelling:

  1. Involve kids in local community activities.
  2. Have them find things to do that return something positive to the community.
  3. Teach them to research, plan, and publish their projects using a variety of media.
  4. Involve their parents and families.

These, and the challenges Boggs mentioned, are the talking points I’d recommend for Will.

When kids begin to see the connections between what they and others are doing, they’ll become more globally conscious and locally conscientious. A “revolution of values” may, or may not, follow. But I believe that experience is the prerequisite for understanding broader issues, and that students need to connect their personal experiences to larger social contexts in order to understand the world.

These ideas are not the product of long-standing convictions of mine but come from a growing realization that education advocacy should address a larger domain than individual cognitive benefits or cultural deficits. I haven’t been satisfied with my own students’ use of technology, which has seemed too unfocused and narrow to me, and I’m thinking about my approach for next year, here.

To be clear, I’m not suggesting that teachers should somehow subvert the authority or values of parents or school boards – but quite the opposite. School projects should advance the development and expression of community values. We need to include all members of the school community in these projects, and encourage everyone to bring meaning from their own lives to the work of creating a shared narrative and compelling reasons to engage it. The discussions that result from those projects is what will promote the critical understandings.

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Democracy 2.0

Will Richardson’s post about Web 2.0 as “Cultural and Intellectual Catastrophe” referenced Andrew Keen’s critique of “radical democratizers” who threaten the “intellectual life of our society.” Will wonders “…what systemic impact we can have by pushing at the education door.”

Keen sounds off about web technologies, but he’s really talking about preserving the status quo, and his critique of “radical democratizers” would also apply to Myles Horton, who didn’t have anything to say about the internet. But unlike the web 2.0 edtech evangelists, Horton didn’t believe that substantive reform was possible working within the the existing education system because systemic change has never been part of the mission for public education.

The book, We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social Change, by Myles Horton and Paolo Freire, is a transcript of a conversation between Horton and Freire. Horton told about his involvement in Highlander Center, and the development of Citizenship Schools, which were a loosely organized and hugely successful voter’s rights/literacy education program for African Americans living in the South Carolina Sea Islands.

You can read a summary of Horton’s work, and an analysis of his democratic philosophy in An Exploration of Myles Horton’s Democratic Praxis: Highlander Folk School, by Barbara Thayer-Bacon.

Myles Horton emphasized the importance of helping people to discuss and identify the things in their lives that needed improvement. He refused to pose as an expert, telling people how to solve their problems. In The Long Haul, his autobiography, he said:

The best teachers of poor and working people are the people themselves. They are the experts on their own experiences and problems. The students who came to Highlander brought their own ways of thinking and doing. We tried to stimulate their thinking and expose them to consultants, books and ideas, but it was more important for them to learn how to learn from each other….We served as a catalytic agent to hasten the learning process [....] What we sought was to set people’s thinking apparatus in motion, while at the same time trying to teach and practice brotherhood and democracy (p. 152).

He saw top-down reform as essentially meaningless to the people it targets:

I think the poor and the people who can’t read and write have a sense that without structural changes nothing is worth really getting excited about. They know much more clearly than intellectuals do that reforms don’t reform. They don’t change anything. they’ve been the guinea pigs for too many programs. Now if you could come to them with a radical idea – like we were able to tie into in the Citizenship School program – where they see something significant, they’d become citizens of the world. Then they’ll identify with that, but not with short-range limited objectives that they know from experience don’t get them anywhere. They won’t invest much time or energy in it. (We Make the Road by Walking, p. 93)

A debate between Keen and Kevin Kelly airs the issues pretty thoroughly. Briefly, Keen feels that the read/write web is destroying our culture, and that it needs to be regulated. Kelly acknowledges some of the problems, but has faith that they’ll be ironed out in time.

The web is all of 5,000 days old. It may take another few thousand days to figure out viable systems of law, business practices, and cultural norms that will reward audiences, creators, and the middle industries. Or it may take a generation. But that is still a relatively short time in the lifecycle of an economy.

What"™s the evidence that these new models will come? My expectations are largely the product of my own experience.

Keen asks how we turn a nation of “couch potatoes into a nation of creative literate prosumers able to digest complex news and appreciate sophisticated culture?” He says to Kelly:

Your strategy is libertarian. For you, it seems, all change comes from within. Your proof? Kevin Kelly. When everyone becomes KK, you suggest, the world will be a better place. The problem is that not everyone can be KK. Not everyone can be a successful author like you and earn money giving speeches and selling your intelligence directly to the consumer. You are a remarkably self-motivated, independent person who trekked around the world, fathered Wired magazine, mothered the new rules for the new economy, uncled the Web 2.0 revolution. You are an exception rather than the rule. Where do unexceptional people, the un-KK"™s of the world, get the aesthetic sensibility to make movies, the intellectual training to write books, or the reporting skills to accurately cover politics?

Who is going to teach us to become good digital citizens?

Progressive tech-minded teachers would answer, “That’s our job!” But Keen’s criticism sounds like a fair assessment of a flawed rationale behind much edtech, and even religious, evangelism, which is to say, “It works for me, therefore it should be good for everyone else.” In practice, though, this isn’t simple. Teachers still don’t have good theoretical models to work from, and putting the technology to work in traditional classrooms has been problematic on many levels. Even if we get the technical difficulties ironed out, we still run into philosophical obstacles that arise from a lack of consensus on what schools are for and how students should be taught.

But Keen continues:

…Good digital citizens need to be nurtured by the state, by schoolteachers and university professors, by authoritative journalists, by parents, by peers, by fellow citizens, by both new and old media companies. The good digital citizen is as trained in listening as in speaking. The test of good digital citizenship is silence rather than noise.

Silence? Clearly, Keens vision of democratic pluralism is different than mine. I suppose only “experts” can use a blog to trumpet their books condemning participatory media? Keen wants to preserve existing hierarchies and the authority of experts. By his own admission, he’s concerned with cultural values, and he worries that “we’ll end up creating ourselves into oblivion.”

Kelly answers that the internet is allowing us to “remake ourselves,” and he asks:

…Into what? Great question! It"™s the mega-question of the next several centuries. What are we? What can we be? What should we be? Every new technology we create, such as the web, forces another iteration of this refrain: Who then shall we be? To answer it we will dive deep into our natures, our traditions, and, most of all, into new technologies.

What is needed isn’t more expert authority. God knows that we’ve suffered enough problems created by experts. Myles Horton’s vision of democracy was deliberately undefined, calling democracy a “growing idea,” that requires readjusting your goals as you move toward it. Experts hate to be seen as inconsistent.

The value of participatory media for nurturing democracy isn’t so much in the quality or quantity of information that’s available, but in the opportunity it provides to examine our beliefs and to negotiate what it means to be a media literate “global citizen.” The role of schools in this process doesn’t have nearly as much to do with technology or skills as it does with understanding how to relate to other people, recognizing that individual problems result from larger cultural, historical and economic contexts. If web 2.0 tools can broaden our perspective to account for these influences, then they may be of value. But we also have to remember that school reform is a political process, and it’s going to involve a lot of people who aren’t necessarily education experts.

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Classroom Blogging Backstory

Jun 09 2007 Published by under borderland,literacy,technology

The other day Mark Ahlness posted about his students spending silent reading periods reading blogs that my fourth graders wrote this year. It may interest people to hear a little bit about the production of those Pokemon blog posts and how my students used Wikipedia, especially since Doug Johnson posted a spirited and correct defense of student uses for Wikipedia. I’m glad Wikipedia isn’t blocked because it was a big help to all of us.

I’m out of touch with video game culture, and when a couple of my students started to write Pokemon stories, I had not a clue what they were about. I couldn’t help them with any of the proofreading, since I didn’t know how to spell things – and neither did they. One of them found some fan fiction sites that he really liked, and I hoped that maybe they’d get some pleasure out of reading what other fans wrote. I also hoped that a little quality would rub off, and that I could get them to do a little more exposition in their work for those of us who are neither fans nor clairvoyants. But that never really happened.

I finally got overwhelmed and a little disgusted with the whole business because they wrote these really long and complicated stories that made no sense to me, and I questioned what they were learning. I resented the time it took for me to help them work through the spelling and punctuation issues when we couldn’t even figure out how some of these game-world words, (and names like Cindiquil) should be spelled. I put restrictions on how many of these stories I was willing to help them publish because they required a LOT of one-on-one attention. I asked the kids to get help with the mechanics from people at home, but few did.

Finally one student hit upon the idea of looking somewhere else on the internet to find the correct spellings. Since the district blocks entertainment and game sites, and we couldn’t visit the game homepages from school, we used Wikipedia pages devoted to these games and stories with links to related pages. This turned into a pretty healthy resource for them, and they researched the correct spellings of the terms they were using in their work. They soon figured out how to link to the Wikipedia image files. Other students began using Wikipedia to read about tigers, and whales, and singers, and other stuff they wanted to find out more about, but Wikipedia proved to be an invaluable resource for those of us who needed help with esoteric proper nouns.

During what became a reading/writing period, I patrolled the room with a clipboard taking notes. I chatted with students about what they were looking for, and what they were learning, and if it was for a project, etc. When I could see that they weren’t focused, I’d give them an assignment. But for the motivated kids, I showed them how to take notes (on paper, to avoid the copy/paste reports they tried to write) and let them follow their interests.

When we got noticed in the local newspaper, I put the Statcounter code on one of the template files to track our visitors. I was amazed to see how many people visited the kids site. Lots more than read this blog, as a rule. And they generally find the site with Google searches for things like the strongest pokemon in sinnoh, or pokemon how to get to outer space. It seems that my fourth-graders created something there’s a demand for, even if I couldn’t appreciate or understand it. What do I know?

I think there’s a real problem finding elementary kid-level reading material on the internet. I’m glad my students provided a source for some of Mark’s readers, and anyone else who wants to read fourth grader writing, but I wish I could have helped them do a better job with their fiction writing. I simply don’t have the background knowledge to comment on the fan fiction, and I couldn’t convince any of them to consider writing for an audience that might need a little more help. I wanted the kids to know that folks were reading what they wrote, even if they didn’t leave comments, and I explained to them that Google was indexing their work. I showed one little girl what happened when we did this search, and she was thrilled to see that her blog was the top result.

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All Over the Map

Jun 08 2007 Published by under borderland,education,politics

2 weeks into my long summer break, and routines have begun to take shape. Not a lot of time with the computer, but still reading and keeping an eye on the world. I found Democracy Now on a campus radio station while driving to the soccer fields, and heard Amy Goodman’s interview with Antonia Juhasz talking about her book, "œThe Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time.” Most interesting to me in this discussion was the oil workers’ strike in Iraq that involves hundreds of workers, and is in part motivated by opposition to a US-backed law that will turn Iraq’s oil resources over to foreign oil companies. As Juhasz plainly describes:

It"™s a Bush administration, US corporate, very simple attempt to figure out: if you"™re going to wage a war for oil, how do you get the oil. Does Exxon come in on a tank with a flag and stick it in the ground, or do you have a more careful process? The careful process is very simply: write a law, get a new Iraqi government in place, have the Iraqis pass the law, and then turn the oil over to US oil corporations.

The Bush administration designed the law. Last January, President Bush announced that it was a benchmark for passage by the Iraqi government. It was the same day that he announced the surge. And in the language of the administration, the surge was meant to provide the political space so that the Iraqis could discuss the oil law and other benchmarks. The Democrats then adopted this language of the benchmarks and said in the supplemental war spending bill, again, that the Iraqis have to pass this benchmark.

Juhasz goes on to say why she believes that, from the US administration’s point of view, the war isn’t going all that badly, and she mentions Bush’s recent reference to the “Korean model” for US foreign intervention. Tom Engelhardt points out that “our present “Korea” moment…is the oldest news of all,” giving a brief historical review of events as they’ve unfolded, and linking to an article about what he describes as our “…massively fortified, $600 million, blast-resistant compound of 20-odd buildings in the heart of Baghdad’s Green Zone,” calling it, the largest “embassy” on the planet.” You can see pictures of what it’s supposed to look like, and another description here.

When I first read Rich Gibson’s and E. Wayne Ross’s Cut the Schools-to-War Pipeline article a while back, I wasn’t ready to grant their “perpetual war on the world” assumption, but now after seeing the Bush administration become more open about their intentions, the colonial agenda doesn’t seem far-fetched at all. Ross and Gibson challenge the administration’s claim that NCLB is a means of promoting equal opportunity for disadvantaged populations, citing a lack of evidence that business interests are committed to doing anything more than cheerlead the effort and stand in support of coercive methods that do little to change the material circumstances for children living in poverty.

The Schools Matter blog pointed to an excellent piece written by James Crawford, NCLB and Civil Rights, that brings the issue of educational equity into sharp focus. Though we all agree that more attention for disadvantaged kids and English Language Learners is a good thing, Crawford questions the kind of attention for kids that a test-driven concern generates. And he points out that civil rights advocates come down on both sides of the NCLB issue, asking how that could happen. He suggests that “The only plausible answer is that there is a growing divide in how educational equity is understood.”

Crawford points out that “Once upon a time, civil rights advocates were united in pursuing the goal of equal educational opportunity,” advocating for things like equal access to programs and quality facilities. He notes that in our current situation the Bush administration took

“…an issue traditionally "œowned" by Democrats and [gave] it a "œcompassionate conservative" spin. By stressing the achievement gap, candidate Bush redefined civil rights in the field of school reform….

….Eliminating achievement gaps is paramount among the law"™s goals; equal educational opportunity is not.

NCLB is silent on the subject of segregation, allocation of resources, and fiscal policy. The significance of the shift of focus from “inputs” to “achievement” and educational outcomes is that “It shifts the entire burden of reform from legislators and policymakers to teachers and kids and schools,” Crawford said.

Resistance on the part of teachers is seen as excuse-making, or whining, or a desire to dodge what’s come to be known as “accountability.” No effort or attention is given to the more costly and and intractable social problems that we all know are critical – not only to learning in school, but to living a fulfilling life.

NCLB and the privatization of public schooling is very similar to the colonial project underway in Iraq. Debate in the US Congress even includes some the same terminology. Note that they’re talking about ‘benchmarks,’ and using them to fix blame on Iraqis for not taking charge of the mess…while the Iraqi government is supposed to decide whether Chevron, Exxon, Conoco, BP, Shell, and Marathon will get the oil.

A book I just picked up from the library, Education Research in the Public Interest, is devoted to a social orientation to educational research which might guide policy decisions that further the interests of communities and families rather than studying “schooling” as a generalized concept. Education research has got to talk back to the technocratic notion that schools can somehow function independent of the constraints of history and culture. Looks promising as a focus for the work that needs to be done.

To begin taking steps in a positive direction, I plan to begin writing more about education research that stands a chance of making a difference.

note (June 9): cleaned up some punctuation in this rambling rant.

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Stirring Up Justice

Jun 04 2007 Published by under borderland,education,politics

Continuing my political-speech-in-the-k12-classroom theme from the previous post, I notice that Sol Stern is alarmed that teachers in New York are using radical math projects to to analyze social problems “while Chancellor Klein looks the other way.” And not only that, he’s concerned about about schools of education “spreading the word about social justice teaching.”

Stern says that

“Social justice teaching is a frivolous waste of precious school hours, grievously harmful to poor children, who start out with a disadvantage. School is the only place where they are likely to obtain the academic knowledge that could make up for the educational deprivation they suffer in their homes. The last thing they need is a wild-eyed experiment in education through social action.”

And….that’s exactly what some people are saying about NCLB.

Stern also writes for the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and they’ve set up a website to warn the public about teacher training programs that advocate for

…caring K-!2 teachers to help mold their students’ attitudes on controversial political and social issues. These institutions openly support the idea of teaching and advocating for “social justice,” “peace,” “diversity” and “multiculturalism” in the classroom.

The Horowitz Center commissioned a book from Stern on the topic, due out soon. I’ve been trying to unravel my thinking around the larger question about the role of the teacher as a social actor in the classroom.

Horowitz believes the left is at war with academic freedom throughout the university level. And he sees a political assault on k12 education, calling on legislators to “restore the principles of professional education, which is viewpoint neutral and which supports the fundamental principles of a pluralistic democracy, to our nation’s public schools.”

I agree with the premise, indoctrination-bad; pluralistic democracy-good. I don’t know who wouldn’t. Where I lose track of the critique of social justice education is how we should then conclude that critical pedagogy, which professes this very same set of goals, is somehow antagonistic to that end.

A pluralistic democracy is the result of conflict and dialog in a process which hopefully leads toward a definition of the common good. Sonia Nieto, in her essay “On Becoming American” explained the role of education in that process:

…young people who feel marginalized are particularly important in the creation of a new culture. In a new conception of American, native cultures do not simply disappear, as schools or society might expect or want them to. Rather, aspects of them are retained, modified, and reinserted into different contexts to become valid and workable. But the process of creating a new culture is generally neither conscious nor planned. It is instead the inevitable conclusion of cultures co-existing in uneasy, conflicted, but also rewarding ways. Neither assimilation nor cultural purity is the result. Hip hop, break dancing, and any number of new music forms are good examples of this process, as are the English/Spanish/”Spanglish” poetry of urban Latinos and the redefined murals of the inner city. By changing the complexion, attitudes, behaviors, and values of society, we can all experience the comfort of the known as well as the pain and dislocation of the unknown.

The process of becoming American is not merely an academic exercise, but must connect to schools in fundamental ways. Students and teachers need to learn how to construct curricula that affirm all students while also challenging the idea of fixed or idealized identities. They need to search for new sources of knowledge to create a shifting canon that includes all students and communities.

If we view teaching as a repertoire of technical procedures, then we should assume that the teacher will remain “viewpoint neutral.” But if teaching is cultural work, as I see it, we’d expect the teacher to become an active participant in what is essentially a value-laden civic activity, showing kids how to find their way.

So what might a social justice approach to teaching look like in the real world? Herbert Kohl offered some suggestions:

  • First, don’t teach against your conscience;
  • Second, hone your craft as a teacher;
  • Third, look around at the many effective ways of teaching children….pick and choose, retool and restructure the best of what you find and make it your own. Most of all, watch your students and see what works;
  • Fourth, it is not enough to teach well and create a social justice classroom separate from the larger community. You have to be a community activist, a good parent, a decent citizen;
  • [And finally] Protect and nurture yourself. Have some fun in your life; learn new things that only obliquely relate to issues of social justice.

To which I would add…Keep in mind that your students learn who you are, as much as what you know. And in the end they’ll remember you for how you made them feel.

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