Critical Essays on Teaching, Learning and Leading in the 21st Century
Edited By Eleanor Blair and Yolanda Medina
1. A Pedagogy of Hopelessness: Fear and Loathing in 21st Century American Schools
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A Pedagogy of Hopelessness
Fear and Loathing in 21st Century American Schools
Eleanor J. Blair
In her address to the American Educational Studies Association in November, 2014, Susan Laird, a renowned scholar in the field of philosophy of education, talked about hope, and she asked the question: “How can anyone be an educator without hope?” Perhaps hope is a fundamental part of education and the educational process, but my response to her would be that it is entirely possible to be an educator today and be without hope; in fact, schools at every level are full of such individuals. Rather, I would ask the question, “how can anyone be an educator today and not be hopeless?” The November 3, 2014, issue of Time magazine is labeled Rotten Apples and shows a gavel smashing an apple; the lead article is a sharp and biting critique of the teaching profession generally and tenure specifically. A response by Billy Easton, executive director of the Alliance for Quality Education, was among those that Time published online:
Once again, TIME has chosen to play the teacher bashing blame game with the rotten cover titled “Rotten Apples.” TIME is parroting the assault on public schools and teachers being promoted by hedge-fund and Silicon Valley billionaires seeking to privatize our public schools. This latest TIME cover is a head on attack on the profession of teaching. It...
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