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Six Lenses for Anti-Oppressive Education

Partial Stories, Improbable Conversations


Edited By Kevin K. Kumashiro and Bic Ngo

This book spotlights six themes or «lenses» for understanding and analyzing education and its relation to oppression and anti-oppressive transformation. It brings together multiple perspectives on anti-oppressive education from various contexts, including K-12 schools, teacher education programs, postsecondary institutions, and community-based organizations. The book provides an array of practical and theoretical resources for educators to explore and innovate ways to confront and dismantle racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism and other forms of oppression in education. Significantly, this 2 nd edition boasts ten new chapters as well as new or considerably revised Conversations for each of the six Parts. The chapters provide readers with diverse perspectives for considering anti-oppressive education from a range of content areas in K-12, postsecondary, and community contexts; student and educator populations; social differences; activities; and research methodology. In addition, this new edition significantly amplifies the perspectives and experiences of youth, including those from Southeast Asian, South Asian, and African American communities.


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Part Six: Situating Anti-Oppressive Education in Our Times


Situating Anti-Oppressive Education in Our Times p a r t s i x c h a p t e r e l e v e n When the first edition of Six Lenses for Anti-Oppressive Education was being put together 7 years ago, I felt compelled to write about the ways in which teaching and learning inside classrooms had become imperiled by powerful forces outside them, specifically by the curriculum, pedagogy, and epistemology promoted by acts of war. It seemed clear to me then that the ways in which the Bush administration was transforming the nation’s culture, legal system, and economy in order to wage war in Iraq and Afghanistan would have lasting effects on education. I argued then that more than anything else, teaching is an act of faith in the future. The things that students learn in one class, one course, or one quarter have meaning largely as parts of a process designed to make them lifelong learners. Successful teachers seek to help their students become adults capable of careful, contemplative, and creative thinking; to become citizens skilled at seeing things for themselves and continuing to learn even when their teachers are no longer physically present to guide them. Successful students master the tools of evidence and argument. They learn to see through surface appearances, to avoid the path of least resistance, and to embrace complexity and contradiction. The open-ended permanent warfare that the nation embraced after 9/11 en- tailed social, cultural, political, legal and economic transformations that...

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