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Teaching the Taboo

Courage and Imagination in the Classroom

Rick Ayers William Ayers

160 pages
Teachers College Press
Rick and William Ayers renew their challenge to teachers to teach initiative, to teach imagination, to “teach the taboo” in the new edition of this bestseller. Drawing from a lifetime of deep commitment to students, teaching, and social justice, the authors update their powerful critique of schooling and present classroom stories of everyday teachers grappling with many of today’s hotly debated issues. They invite educators to live a teaching life of questioning—to imagine classrooms where every established and received bit of wisdom, common sense, orthodoxy, and dogma is open for examination, interrogation, and rethinking. Teaching the Taboo, Second Edition is an insightful guide to effective pedagogy and essential reading for anyone looking to evolve as an educator. What’s new for the second edition of Teaching the Taboo! A deeper exploration of issues of White privilege and racism and war and peace. A more thorough examination of the problems with math and science education, including possible solutions. An expanded exploration of the importance of creative writing for validating individual and community experiences. A more thorough discussion of Freire’s work and comparison to the radical teaching projects of African American activists in the South during the Freedom Schools. An in-depth look at how students can be part of co-constructing historical narratives and analyses. An update on school struggles in Atlanta, Chicago, and Seattle. Praise for the first edition of Teaching the Taboo! "For those frustrated by the thrust of educational 'reform'…this book provides what can be described as both a challenge and a set of alternatives.” —Education Review “Drawing from a lifetime of deep thinking about education and courageous commitment to precious students, Rick and William Ayers have given us a marvelous book. Their devastating critique of the pervasive market models in education and their powerful defense of democratic forms of imagination in schools are so badly needed in our present-day crisis!” —Cornel West, author of Race Matters and Democracy Matters “ Teaching the Taboo is provocative, challenging, funny in places, wild but sensible enough to be useful, inspiring, and practical for educators who are working to negate the educational madness that is infecting the schools.” —Herbert Kohl, author of 36 Children and Painting Chinese “Don't be mistaken—what counts as ‘taboo’ is often the very thing that must be addressed for change to occur, as brilliantly illustrated in this new book by Richard and William Ayers.” —Kevin Kumashiro, founding director of the Center for Anti-Oppressive Education and author of The Seduction of Common Sense and Bad Teacher!
Author Bio
Rick Ayers is an assistant professor in teacher education at the University of San Francisco and founder of the Communication Arts and Sciences small school at Berkeley High School. William Ayers is a school reform activist and bestselling author. He is a distinguished professor of education and senior university scholar (retired) at the University of Illinois at Chicago.