October 21, 2007
Looking back (3)
The next stage (tho it wasn't actually so neatly chronological) was reading stuff about empowerment, about language as power, about power differentials, about the classroom as a stage where power plays are enacted.
That seemed to make some sense:
* were my students perhaps behaving in ways similar to disenfranchised groups like those Paulo Freire talked about?
* Even tho they are not a discriminated minority but children of the overwhelming majority?
* If so, in what ways are they disenfranchised?
* How does this work?
I also explored the politics and psychologies behind various approaches:
* what values underlie the "project method"?
* how might the white, liberal values I held be different from those of my students?
* how might those differences play out with my students?
* what are the arguments for and against "traditional" instruction?
* how valid are those arguments?
I read E.D. Hirsch,
several books by Henry Giroux.
I re-read John Holt.
I read Melanie Philips.
I read and re-read and re-read John Taylor Gatto.
(To be continued).