Teaching Toward Freedom

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Overview

For William Ayers, noted educator and activist, "the allure of teaching, that ineffable magic drawing me back to the classroom again and again, issues from an ideal that lies directly at its heart: Teaching, at its best, is an enterprise that helps human beings reach the full measure of their humanity."

In Teaching Toward Freedom, Ayers illuminates the hope as well as the conflict that characterize the entire project of education: how it can be used in authoritarian and ...

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Teaching Toward Freedom: Moral Commitment and Ethical Action in the Classroom

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Overview

For William Ayers, noted educator and activist, "the allure of teaching, that ineffable magic drawing me back to the classroom again and again, issues from an ideal that lies directly at its heart: Teaching, at its best, is an enterprise that helps human beings reach the full measure of their humanity."

In Teaching Toward Freedom, Ayers illuminates the hope as well as the conflict that characterize the entire project of education: how it can be used in authoritarian and dehumanizing ways in the service of the state, the church, or a restrictive existing social order-an idea he abhors-or, as he envisions it, as an undertaking to help students become more fully human, more engaged, more participatory, more free. Drawing on his own classroom experiences and those of his many colleagues, as well as on popular culture, film, poetry, and novels, Ayers redraws the lines concerning how we teach and why, and the surprising things we uncover when we allow students to become visible, vocal authors of their own texts and creators of their own lives.

"Committed and aware teachers," Ayers argues, "must endeavor to accomplish two crucial tasks. One is to convince students . . . that there is no such thing as receiving an education as a passive receptor or an inert vessel-in that direction lies nothing but subservience, indoctrination, and worse. All real education is and must always be self-education. The second task is to demonstrate to students . . . that they are valued, that their humanity is honored, and that their growth, enlightenment, and liberation are the paramount concern. We take the side of the student. . . ." This lucid and inspiring book will help teachers at every level to realize that ideal.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Teaching toward Freedom is powerful, thought-provoking, and a must-read for everyone concerned with the state of education.—Deborah Donovan, Booklist

[Ayers] makes the case that larger society needs to understand what it means to teach toward freedom. . . .Ayers's model asks that students imagine different future worlds where justice is better served and where we create a vision needed for a better world."—Lee Baker, Altar Magazine

"Five thoughtful essays that examine how teachers need to value their students, challenge themselves, and teach for freedom."—Bob Peterson, Rethinking Schools

Praise for A Kind and Just Parent:

"William Ayers is as sensitive and gifted a chronicler as he is a teacher."—Studs Terkel, author of Hope Dies Last and Working

Library Journal
"What am I teaching for? And what am I teaching against?" These are the fundamental questions that Ayers (education, Univ. of Illinois, Chicago) explores in this collection of essays on the moral dimension of teaching, originally delivered as a series of lectures during the author's fall 2003 stint as a visiting scholar at Lesley University. Throughout, Ayers returns to his commitment to education as activism and to the importance of teachers standing "on the side of the student." Drawing, as in earlier works, on his experience in the Civil Rights Movement and the antiwar movement of the 1960s, Ayers deftly melds his own experiences as a teacher with those of like-minded colleagues, as well as with evocative lessons about education and humanity drawn from the work of authors including Pablo Neruda, Malcolm X, and Myles Horton. Likely to be as popular as the author's earlier To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher, this collection is recommended for any academic library. Scott Walter, Univ. of Kansas Libs., Lawrence Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807032695
  • Publisher: Beacon
  • Publication date: 9/15/2005
  • Pages: 184
  • Sales rank: 1,476,228
  • Product dimensions: 5.53 (w) x 8.51 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

William Ayers is Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is the founder of the Small Schools Workshop and the Center for Youth and Society, and he is the author of many books on education, including Teaching the Personal and Political, On the Side of the Child, To Teach, A Simple Justice, and A Kind and Just Parent.

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Table of Contents

1 Between heaven and earth : what is teaching for? 1
2 Turning toward the student : who in the world am I? 30
3 Building a republic of many voices : where is my place in the world? 67
4 Lifting the weight of the world : what are my choices? 103
5 Teaching toward freedom 137
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 25, 2008

    Brainwashing Our Children

    Keep in mind, every book you purchase by William Ayers, puts money in this guy's pocket. In other words, if you buy his books, you are fattening up the wallet of an unrepentent domestic terrorist who, with his wife and fellow Weathermen, killed innocent people. This guy should not be allowed to make money off the suffering of others. He should also not be allowed to teach(brainwash) our impressionable youth. The fact that he is employed by the University of Illinois is disgusting. The University should be ashamed. As for the content of this book and the others penned by Ayers, don't waste your time reading his propaganda. I'm surprised that any publisher would take him on... but then again, some people have no conscience because they worship the almighty dollar.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 18, 2008

    Education

    teaching is national security issue. We must educate our city children or our nation will die. Ayers feels this from deep within. <BR/><BR/>Volunteer to tutor. You will change a life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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