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Political correctness . . . Race . . . Entitlements . . . Sexual harassment . . . Multiculturalism . . . Gay rights. Today's classroom is the very crucible in which these and other hot-button political issues are being forged—a far cry from academia's removed "ivory tower" image. But while the stream of politics runs inexorably through everything from pedagogy to curriculum development to student evaluation, it is nonetheless a stream few teachers willingly step into in their collective discussions. Political Moments in the Classroom reverses that trend.
This book reprises the conversations of a group of educators in the writing program at Syracuse University over the course of two years. Through edited transcripts, reflective essays, and commentary, a panorama of political events unfolds as the participants share stories about actual classroom experiences. We see teachers reflecting on their roles as facilitators, coaches, and audience. We see students presenting opinions that polarize a classroom. We see academic departments embroiled in controversy as the traditional canon is accepted, challenged, or enlarged upon. And we see educators from across the political spectrum questioning what to teach, how to teach—and why.
Appropriate for educators in all disciplines, Political Moments in the Classroom will have special meaning for teachers of writing and composition—areas widely perceived as "content-free" since their substance derives from individual writers' choice of topic. Teachers in these areas most sharply face the dilemma of maintaining the classroom as a safe arena for free expression—even as they use the subjective criteria of language and rhetoric to manage it.
Introducing the Project, M. Himley
Why Stories, K. Le Fave
Insight One: Politicizing the "Private"
Learning to Tell Stories: The Maureen Story ( reconstruction and edited transcript)
Sexual Harassment: The Kelly Story (edited transcript)
The Political as an Organizing Term, A. Larson
Insight Two: Tracing "Talk"
In Search of a Democratic Classroom, S. Yadlon
Silence as Privilege (edited transcript)
Insight Three: Making "Power" Visible
Talking Power, M. Himley
Having an Agenda (edited transcripts)
The Subject of Privilege/The Privileged Subject in the Classroom, S. Rosendale
Insight Four: Recognizing Irreducible Difference
Embodying Outsideness (edited transcripts)
The Working Class Student in the Groves of Academe, D. Penrod
The Trouble with/in the Political, A. Larson
The Classroom as City, M. Himley