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Against Common Sense: Teaching and Learning Toward Social Justice / Edition 2

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The phrase "teaching for social justice" is often used, but not always explained. What does it really mean to teach for social justice? What are the implications for anti-oppressive teaching across different areas of the curriculum? Drawing on his own experiences teaching diverse grades and subjects, Kevin Kumashiro examines various aspects of anti-oppressive teaching and learning in six different subject areas. Connecting practice to theory through new pedagogical elements, the revised edition of this bestselling text features:

  • A new and timely preface that considers the possibilities of anti-oppressive teaching and teaching for social justice in the face of increasing pressure from both the Right and the Left to accept neoliberal school reform policies.
  • End of chapter questions that enhance comprehension of arguments, help concretize abstract ideas into classroom practice, and encourage critique.
  • A sampling of print and online resources that will inspire students to further their social justice education

The new pedagogical components of the revised edition will offer K-12 teachers and teacher educators the tools they need to teach against their common sense assumptions and continue the evolution of social justice in education.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for previous edition:

"Rarely does a book have the ability to capture the wide audience within the field of education; however, teachers, teacher educators, and researchers alike will find Against Common Sense a thoughtful and applicable volume." —Harvard Educational Review

"This book is an insightful and provocative must-read for all pre-service teachers, teacher educators, in-service teachers, and graduate students implementing teacher education programs. Too bad it wasn't written sooner." —Radical Teacher

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415802222
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 6/23/2009
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 184
  • Sales rank: 614,233
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin K. Kumashiro is an Associate Professor and Chair of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois-Chicago. He is also the founding director of the Center for Anti-Oppressive Education.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Gloria Ladson-Billings
Introduction to the Revised Edition
Part I: Movements toward Anti-Oppressive Teacher Education

1. Three Teacher Images in U.S. Teacher-Education Programs
2. Preparing Teachers for Crisis: A Sample Lesson
3. Preparing Teachers for Uncertainty: A Sample Lesson
4. Preparing Teachers for Healing: A Conversation with Buddhism
5. Preparing Teachers for Activism: A Reflection on Things Queer
Part II: Preparing Anti-Oppressive Teachers in Six Disciplines
6. Examples from Social Studies
7. Examples from English Literature
8. Examples from Music
9. Examples from "Foreign" Languages
10. Examples from the Natural Sciences
11. Examples from Mathematics
Conclusion: With Hope
Afterword by William F. Pinar

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  • Posted October 19, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The definitive book on what IS social-justice education. It will blow your mind. Plus, additional chapters for EACH individual subject, even Music!

    I cannot express how much I enjoyed reading this book. I have struggled a lot with reading textbooks for my teaching credential classes, but this book single-handed changed me.

    Although my credential program has a class about social justice education, this book (for a different class, mind you) was the FIRST time I read something that actually DEFINED what "teaching for social justice" actually MEANS.

    Kumashiro pulls from many different studies, research, and life to trouble the idea of what "common sense" is to you, to others, to America, and to education (the latter obviously being the point of the book). He makes you seriously question how our "common-sense" approach to public education affects the lives of all students, whether rich or poor, black or white, rural or urban.

    What initially piqued my interest in the book is that this edition has added chapters dedicated to every subject. As a music teacher, I often find myself left out (or, at least, not included) of many textbooks' examples or classroom discussions ("How does this apply to me again???") but Kumashiro goes to great lengths to show that EVERY teacher can be a teacher for social justice. Whether it's trying to include different texts in a Language Arts class or including a Mexican Baroque piece in a choral program, teachers are the ones who make this happen in schools.

    Another section I also found interesting was his analysis of "types" of teachers -- learned practitioner, researcher, and professional. What does it say about teaching when teachers label themselves "professional" rather than "learners"?

    Kumashiro sets the stage to trouble your idea of "common sense" in school and life, so what will you think?

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