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The Ecological Heart of Teaching

Radical Tales of Refuge and Renewal for Classrooms and Communities

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Edited By Jackie Seidel and David W. Jardine

The Ecological Heart of Teaching is a collection of writings by teachers about their life in classrooms. Reflecting over three years of collective work, it illustrates how teachers, parents, and students can avoid some of the distractions and panic endemic to many schools, allowing them to focus thoughtfully on rigorous, beautiful work. It draws on ecological thinking, Buddhism, and hermeneutics to provide deeper, richer, and more abundant sources for teaching, thinking, and practice, and shows how these three lineages provide keys to decode the current malaise that surrounds schooling. The book will be valuable to beginning and experienced teachers and administrators, as well as to parents and anyone involved in stepping away from the exhausting industrial images and ideas that have turned schooling into an ecological and intellectual disaster. For those interested in interpretive research and life-writing, the book provides a wide array of examples; it is a valuable resource for undergraduate classes in curriculum and teaching, as well as graduate research methods courses interested in new forms of thinking and writing.
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Chapter Twenty-Five: A Little Uprising

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CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE

A Little Uprising

PAUL LE MARQUAND



“You had a little uprising in your class last week. How are you doing, Paul?” I remembered this greeting, which was offered one Monday morning late in the second term of junior high, when I learned about student protests occurring in Jefferson County, Colorado, at the beginning of the 2014 school year. The majority of the elected school board members proposed a review of the Advanced Placement (AP) history course following revisions to its framework by the College Board. To earn college credit in this AP elective, students would now be expected to demonstrate an ability to critically analyze American history, including its past grave injustices. The bloc of board members was concerned with the course’s apparent lack of patriotism, stemming from a supposed focus on social change achieved via civil unrest. Student opposition galvanized around a board member’s expressed belief that “I don’t think we should encourage our kids to be little rebels.” Leveraging social media tools including Twitter hashtags and Facebook groups, students expressed their dismay through walkouts and by attending school dressed as historical figures who engaged in civil disobedience. Teachers protested alongside students and staged a “sick-out”; some observers noted that teaching staff coincidently also faced the prospect of the legal revocation of their collective bargaining rights by the same school board.

To which uprising was my colleague now referring? There had actually been two...

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