A blog about Learning, about Education, about transformation, about change, about youth voice, about democratic human centered education. I am trying to ask the question "Why we educate" and what my answer means to me as a teacher and how my role shapes society and the whole.
I asked my tumblr followers:
here are zwelinzima answers:
In no order,
1.) The Book of Learning and Forgetting, by Frank Smith, discusses social relevance and control
In this thought-provoking book, Frank Smith explains how schools and educational authorities systematically obstruct the powerful inherent learning abilities of children, creating handicaps that often persist through life. The author eloquently contrasts a false and fabricated “official theory” that learning is work (used to justify the external control of teachers and students through excessive regulation and massive testing) with a correct but officially suppressed “classic view” that learning is a social process that can occur naturally and continually through collaborative activities. This book will be crucial reading in a time when national authorities continue to blame teachers and students for alleged failures in education. It will help educators and parents to combat sterile attitudes toward teaching and learning and prevent current practices from doing further harm.
2.) Teaching as a Subversive Activity, by Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner, speaks, again—directly and eloquently—on liberating young minds (here is my recommendation again)
“There is no way to help a learner to be disciplined, active, and thoroughly engaged unless he perceives a problem to be a problem or whatever is to-be-learned as worth learning, and unless he plays an active role in determining the process of solution.”
― Neil Postman, Teaching as a Subversive Activity
3.) Walking on Water, by Derrick Jensen, has just awesome stories with terrific lessons about asking questions (Note: I also recommend this book highly)
Walking on Water is a startling and provocative look at teaching, writing, creativity, and life by a writer increasingly recognized for his passionate and articulate critique of modern civilization. This time Derrick Jensen brings us into his classroom—whether college or maximum security prison—where he teaches writing. He reveals how schools perpetuate the great illusion that happiness lies outside of ourselves and that learning to please and submit to those in power makes us into lifelong clock-watchers. As a writing teacher Jensen guides his students out of the confines of traditional education to find their own voices, freedom, and creativity.
What book should every Teacher read?
A “vivid, unpredictable, fair, balanced and … very entertaining” look at how education reforms have changed one typical American elementary school over the course of a year (Jay Mathews, The Washington Post)
The pressure is on at schools across America. In recent years, reforms such as No Child Left Behind have created a new vision of education that emphasizes provable results, uniformity, and greater attention for floundering students. Schools are expected to behave more like businesses and are judged almost solely on the bottom line: test scores.
To see if this world is producing better students, Linda Perlstein immersed herself in a suburban Maryland elementary school, once deemed a failure, that is now held up as an example of reform done right. Perlstein explores the rewards and costs of that transformation, and the resulting portrait—detailed, human, and truly thought-provoking—provides the first detailed view of how new education policies are modified by human realities.
Have not read this one, but adding it to my summer reading list. Love books that showcase a year in the life of schools.
-Adventures in Learning
Joseph Boulogne loved music. The singing of the birds, the beat of drums, the peal of church bells—and most of all, the soaring notes of his violin. But as the son of a white plantation owner and a black slave, newly arrived in France from the West Indies, what chance did Joseph have for success with his music? Here is the true story of an extraordinary boy who overcame the prejudices of his peers to become one of the finest classical musicians in all of Europe.
This lushly illustrated book by Lesa Cline-Ransome and James E. Ransome introduces us to a talented musician and an overlooked figure in black history.
Wanted to share this book
Find it here
-Adventures in Learning