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Learning and Teaching Now: Who is the Teacher?

+ Attending

Hi all,


Sorry for the delay! The first meeting for this class is scheduled for Thursday, January 24.

FIRST SESSION: Who is the Teacher?

This first session will focus on the way teachers and teaching are described within discourses of progressive education, particularly in the contexts of activism and education in the arts. Teachers as facilitators or guides rather than experts; education as empowering and emancipating; learning as translation or as a matter of the will to succeed rather than the measure of intelligence - this shared language will be explored and discussed.

Many of us have  participated in recent, widespread attempts to shift educational structures in this country. Let's think together about what new language these efforts have brought forward. Where is the teacher now? Can/should the role still be embodied by one person? What happens to how we think about learning and teaching if the teacher is dispersed - if all participants are  "the teacher"?

We will also discuss content for possible future sessions, to be determined by the group.


Jacques Ranciere's The Ignorant Schoolmaster (1991) is a sharp analysis of of both traditional and progressive pedagogical methods.
The text will be used as a jumping off point to a broader discussion of our shared stakes in these issues.

Knowing that not everyone has time to read the whole text, I'm linking here to an introduction Ranciere wrote for it (with thanks to Jason Wozniak for suggesting it). Please read the first ten pages.


The following is a (very subjective, by no means all-inclusive) list of texts I've found useful recently. I can email the below texts to anyone interested; let me know which ones you would like. You can email me at nova.benway[at]

A few of these are readily available online, so I have linked to them here.

Education After Auschwitz - Theodor Adorno
To the Seminar - Roland Barthes
Democracy and Education - John Dewey (I couldn't find this online, but it is a good one - please post to the blog if you have it.)
Taking Back the Academy - Downs and Manion
Pedagogy of the Oppressed - Paolo Freire
Pedagogy of the City - Paolo Freire
Teaching to Transgress - bell hooks
Deschooling Society - Ivan Illich
 Paolo Freire: A Critical Encounter - McLaren and Leonard
The Ignorant Schoolmaster - Jacques Ranciere
Radical Education Workbook

Many more texts on progressive education, especially in the arts, are available through the wonderful archive at

Please contribute your own links if you have suggestions; many useful theoretical texts can be found on as well.

Looking forward to seeing everyone!


Nova Benway
Thursday, January 24, 2013 - 19:00
155 Freeman, 155 Freeman, 11222 more


Like the Class Page

Hi all,

Thank you for your interest in this class! If you want to continue to receive updates about future meetings, please click "interested" on the Class Page itself - you will then receive emails whenever new meetings are scheduled, or updates to the curriculum are made. Thanks!



Class Notes

I posted some notes and next steps following last night's meeting, which was fantastic, on the class page. Please add yourself to that page to continue to receive updates, if you haven't already. Thank you!



Is this class at 155 Freeman? I would like to attend.

Looking forward to seeing everyone! 

amreklimchak - and anyone else interested - please email me directly at nova(dot)benway(at)gmail(dot)com for texts. I'll send pdf's over to you!


You can also check or - both are great resources for this kind of stuff. 


See you all soon,


The Public School

See you guys tonite!

I can't make it this Thursday or next, but I'd be free on Thursdays in February if you continue the class. I'm interested in all the texts, especially Dewey, hooks, Adorno, and Freire. Thanks!

I'm not sure if I'll be able to attend this week, but I'm adding myself to the list, as I'd love to participate in future meetings if possible (and to stay updated on any notes/reading material/discussion that might be added online). Class sounds great- hope I can make it- thank you!

Thank you for posting the Ranciere! At the first meeting, we will discuss possibilities for later meetings, including when is best for everyone to meet. Thank you for weighing in. I hope to make the class as accessible as possible. 

Hello- I really want to be able to come but it's hard to get there on weekday nights.  Any possibility of ever meeting on a weekend?  I'll put myself as a yes, and try to read some of the materials anyway.


I also found the ranciere online



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