Teaching Toward Freedom

Teaching Toward Freedom

by William Ayers

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807032695
Publisher: Beacon Press
Publication date: 09/15/2005
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 184
Sales rank: 574,396
Product dimensions: 5.55(w) x 8.47(h) x 0.44(d)

About 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.

Table of Contents

1Between Heaven and Earth: What is Teaching for?1
2Turning toward the Student: Who in the World Am I?30
3Building a Republic of Many Voices: Where is My Place in the World?67
4Lifting the Weight of the World: What are My Choices?103
5Teaching toward Freedom137

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Teaching Toward Freedom 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
re-educator More than 1 year ago
teaching is national security issue. We must educate our city children or our nation will die. Ayers feels this from deep within.

Volunteer to tutor. You will change a life.
PoeKat More than 1 year ago
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.