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]gmail.com.
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 www.teachablefile.org.
Please contribute your own links if you have suggestions; many useful theoretical texts can be found on www.aaaaarg.org as well.
Looking forward to seeing everyone!