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Forgotten Places

Critical Studies in Rural Education

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Edited By William M. Reynolds

Forgotten Places: Critical Studies in Rural Education critically investigates and informs the construction of the rural, rural identity and the understanding of the rural internationally. This book promotes and expands the notion of critical understandings of rural education, particularly in the areas of race, class, gender, and LGBTQ, with conceptualizations of social justice. While there have been many volumes written on critical issues in urban education, only a small number have been produced on rural education, and the majority of those are not critical. By contrast, Forgotten Places not only discusses "schools in the country," but also expands conceptualizations of the rural beyond schools and place as well as beyond the borders of the United States. It also tackles the artificial duality between conceptualizations of urban and rural. Forgotten Places includes scholarly investigations into the connections among the symbolic order, various forms of cultural artifacts and multiple readings of these artifacts within the context of critical/transformational pedagogy. This book fills a significant gap in the scholarly work on the ramifications of the rural.

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Chapter Five: Finding Jesus: Schooling in the Age of Mass Surveillance (Michael Boyer)

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CHAPTER FIVE

Finding Jesus

Schooling in the Age of Mass Surveillance

MICHAEL BOYER



I ask the pardon of those teachers who, in dreadful conditions, attempt to turn the few weapons they can find in the history and learning they “teach” against the ideology, the system and the practices in which they are trapped. They are a kind of hero. But they are rare, and how many (the majority) do not even begin to suspect the “work” the system (which is bigger than they are and crushes them) forces them to do, or worse, put all their heart and ingenuity into performing it with the most advanced awareness (the famous new methods!)

—LOUIS ALTHUSSER (1970)

My high school guidance counselor knew my family worked in factories and were not college educated. “Don’t worry about taking Spanish; you only need a foreign language if you are planning to attend college,” he said. Mr. Z knew where we lived, government housing, the white peoples’ projects the kids at school called them. He was a nice enough guy, and really I’ll never know his true intentions. His advice could have been to motivate me or to provide the factory with another worker; regardless, it angered me enough I decided that very day to hatch a plot to escape the postindustrial shell of a town where I grew up just east of St. Louis.

I remember...

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