Some titles I have read over the past few months

“We make the road by walking” Myles Horton and Paulo Freire (ISBN 877227713)

I love the way these two gentlemen think; just the title itself is ingenious. They “spoke” this book, thus it is more like a recorded conversation that we get to sit in on. Memory thoughts; we need to be more like children, always questing, always learning. Modern education too often grows us up by destroying that thirst, the curiosity. Speaks to the fact that we must engage with those around us, not in an obsequious manner – never being afraid to ask questions and challenge “truths”. Lots of talk about dialectical discussions.

 

“Teaching for Social Justice” William Ayers, Jean Ann Hunt and Therese Quinn (ISBN 1565844203)

I did not realize that William Ayers had such a colorful history when I started to read this collection of stories, vingnettes, papers and articles. A number of ties back to Champaign-Urbana. Quite a collection of different ideas, a sharing of experiences. Wonderful for being eye opening and helping me to vicariously walk in someone else’s shoes. Shows how important it is to be involved, engaged and eve politically active. Not in the sense of running for office, but more importantly, having and using your voice.

 

“The Critical Middle School Reader” Enora Brown and Kenneth Saltman (ISBN 0415950708)

Again, another collection; presents many sides of the Education argument, well-balanced in my opinion. Discusses the pros and cons of the current method of teaching. I found myself leaning towards the small groups, collaborative learning side of the aisle. The book also reminded me that some children (and some learning types) actually do quite well in the current system.

 

Read a couple chapters from Freire’s “Pedagogy of Oppression”, but never got my hands on the book. Emphasis on critical thinking, the need to think through what you are being taught. Speaks to the oppression of the current style of knowledge transfer.

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