teacher, activist, global citizen
Part One: Teacher as Activist 1
• P A R T O N E • Teacher as Activist • C H A P T E R O N E • An Introduction: Acknowledging Activism and Global Citizenship in Our Schools and Our Communities Rita Verma One of the most important tasks of critical educational practice is to make possible the conditions in which learners, in their interaction with one another and with their teachers, engage in the experience of assuming themselves as social, historical, thinking, communicating, transformative, creative persons: dreamers of possible utopias, capable of being angry because of a capacity to love. (Freire, 2001, p. 33) Who are these dreamers of possible utopias that Paulo Freire describes? How can the expression “You must be the change you wish to see in the world” by Mahatma Gandhi become more than a display poster or mere motivational expression in our school hallways? Teaching for change, human rights, and social justice seems to be a distant goal as testing and accountability have borne down on school districts and the schoolday experience is stripped of creativity and spontaneity. The test-taking culture and No Child Left Behind policies have made schools akin to factories producing similar, uncritical thinkers where both teacher and student learn and teach to the test—becoming a mundane task of accumulating and memorizing unrelated, insignificant facts. Accountability and the de-skilling of the teaching profession have led to teacher burnout and student disengagement; students’ identities have become defined by their “assessment scores,” and teachers by their abilities to produce them. Dominant...
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