Listening Up: Reinventing Ourselves as Teachers and Students

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Listening Up will change the way you view radical literacy education, offering a personal look at the Freirean ideas that guided Rachel Martin's early years of teaching, and the theories and classroom experiences that urged her to take a second look. Through her own compelling example, Martin demonstrates the power of a sustained dialogue between critical theory and classroom and community practice.

The ideas Martin draws on help us think in new ways about how power works. They provide the possibility of seeing how teachers' own needs, fears, and desires might find a place in classroom inquiry as we come to see how our relationship to domination is a matter neither of complete acquiescence nor absolute resistance. While the goals of "meaning-making" and becoming "colearners" have become guideposts in radical teaching, Martin aims in a different direction. She advocates for a pedagogy that places teachers in a more genuine position of colearner as together with students, they question the meanings they make.

Later chapters highlight the practical implications that notions of multiple voices and identities have for the teaching of writing and the questions they raise about the teaching of reading. Martin also describes community publishing projects. Poor and working-class people are too seldom able to have their written visions and strategies distributed, to become part of the way the world is described and possibilities for change are widely considered. Martin argues that community publishing does that, as it also links self-definition to self-determination.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Listening Up provides us with a critical and compassionate view of what it takes to sustain equitable and democratic education. The book is both theoretical and practical, with Martin's personal writing offering an immediacy about how things work in everyday life. It should challenge and inspire people who are concerned about literacy in our society.”–Herbert Kohl
Martin, a teacher and coordinator of writing and publishing projects, shows that progressive classroom techniques work only if grounded in attempts to move beyond sometimes unconscious beliefs held by both teachers and students. Blending the theoretical and practical, the six chapters present an overview and then discuss classroom context, putting theory into action, teaching writing, creating theme-based curricula, and reading and writing techniques<-->tensions, texts, strategies, learning disabilities, vocabulary, and pedagogy. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780867093872
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 2/7/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.91 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Rachel Martin has coordinated community writing and publishing projects for welfare activists, residents of urban neighborhoods, and youth. In Boston, Philadelphia, and Albuquerque, she has taught reading and writing to teenagers and adults, and facilitated staff development in radical pedagogy and curriculum design.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Teaching in the Space Between Action and Reflection

From the Women's School to Neighbors Talk

Putting Theory into Action

Teaching Writing

Reading Your Way into Writing, Writing Your Way into Reading

Creating Theme-Based Curricula

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