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Teaching As a Subversive Activity by Neil…

Teaching As a Subversive Activity

by Neil Postman (Author), Charles Weingartner (Author), Charles Weingartner (Author)

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A new educator must be centrally concerned with the hearts and minds of learners: teach them how to ask, and answer, questions they find important. That is what learning is for.
  EverettWiggins | Apr 9, 2013 |
Probably the only useful thing that's come out of the university based portion of my teaching course so far. Postman advocates for large-scale change to the school system which would move the child back to the centre instead of the focus being on teaching. I can't say anything about anywhere else but I can see how elements of his ideas have been incorperated in the UK, with the idea of student-focused lessons and moving away from transmission-learning, but at the end of the day it's all the same. We call it something else but the aim in my lesson is still to take what's in my head and put it into the heads of students. It's still about right answers and the kids guessing what I know as truth rather then exploring what's true to them. I think that within science there is a place for some transmission learning but I think also that Postman has a lot to make us think about how we teach and why.

I think, ultimatley, to reach Postman's vision we will have to entirely eliminate assesment and testing, at least as we know it. There's so much here I'd like to put into parctice but, at the end of the day, while the kids may learn more if they don't learn the answers I have to teach them to pass the tests that are the only things their future educators and employers will value I'm doing good for no-one. Imagine a world without tests. Imagine if instead of being judged on a number you produced in a test you were instead, maybe, judged on a portfolio of projects and questions that showed your thinking and doing and were realy relevant and personal to you. Things you'd explored and thuoght about and cared about, not done becasue the teacher had told you to.

Though most of his ideas simple won't work within assesment and curriculum structures and require more radical, higher level change then I can effect in my clasroom he does, to be fair, give small ideas you can introduce into normal classroom teaching. And he makes you think. ( )
  TPauSilver | Mar 8, 2011 |
Reviewed by Mr. Janda (Social Studies)
Feel like things are going wrong in the world of public education? Want to create a revolution, or at least reform? Want some ideas for how to completely change things in your classroom? This book is a must-read. I read it for the first time almost 10 years ago and re-read it this summer. Amazing how much hasn’t changed. ( )
  HHS-Staff | Oct 20, 2009 |
So sensible it's still radical almost 40 years after publication, this is a provocative read for anyone interested or involved in education. The authors' model stresses the importance of children learning to think for themselves in a wide range of ways, instead of learning material by heart in a vacuum of context and meaning. ( )
  stancarey | May 21, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Postman, NeilAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Weingartner, CharlesAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Weingartner, CharlesAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Thank God there are no free schools or printing; ... for learning has brought disobedience and heresy into the world, and printing has divulged them. ... God kept us from both. — Sir William Berkeley, Governor of Virginia, d. 1677
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