The production editors in the Journals Department at UIP occasionally get to work with the famous as well as the thoughtful, and I couldn’t help but notice that among the many really thoughtful responses in the Forum on Radical Teaching Now (appearing in the forthcoming Radical Teacher #83) is a contribution by one William Ayers. He writes:

 

While many of us long for teaching as something transcendent and powerful, we find ourselves too-often locked in situations that reduce teaching to a kind of glorified clerking, passing along a curriculum of received wisdom and predigested bits of information. A fundamental choice and challenge for teachers, then, is this: to acquiesce to the machinery of control, or to take a stand with our students in a search for meaning and a journey of transformation. To teach obedience and conformity, or to teach its polar opposite: initiative and imagination, curiosity and questioning, the capacity to name the world, to identify the obstacles to your full humanity, and the courage to act upon whatever the known demands. A pedagogy of questioning can begin to open those doors.

 

Isn’t that just the cure? At a time when every week seems to feature some new threat to the republic, I find it revivifying to encounter such honest, inspirational, and well-stated ideas.

 

For more about progressive thought and historically underrepresented political ideas, check out Radical Teacher and these other UIP titles:

 

A Hard Journey: The Life of Don West by James J. Lorence

 

John Dewey and the Philosophy and Practice of Hope by Stephen M. Fishman and Lucille McCarthy

 

James P. Cannon and the Origins of the American Revolutionary Left, 1890-1928 by  Bryan D. Palmer

 

Red Chicago: American Communism at Its Grassroots, 1928-35 by Randi Storch

 

No Lonesome Road: Selected Prose and Poems by Don West, Edited by Jeff Biggers and George Brosi

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