Show Less

Every Person Is a Philosopher

Lessons in Educational Emancipation from the Radical Teaching Life of Hal Adams


Edited By Bill Ayers, Caroline Heller and Janise Hurtig

Hal Adams was a legendary radical educator who organized writing workshops with people who had been written off during much of their lives, marginalized for reasons of race, gender, class, and caste. Hal detested the carelessness and neglect his students endured and set about building spaces of respect and reparation. Fostering communities of local writers and publishing their work in journals of «ordinary thought,» the work brought pride and dignity to the authors, carrying the wisdom of their narratives into and beyond their communities. In the traditions of Paulo Freire, Antonio Gramsci, and C.L.R. James, Hal based his approach on the conviction that every person is a philosopher, artist, and storyteller, and that only the insights and imaginings of the oppressed can sow seeds of authentic social change. Every Person Is a Philosopher gathers essays by classroom and community educators deeply influenced by Hal’s educational work and vision, and several essays by Hal Adams. They explore diverse ways this humanizing pedagogy can be applied in a wide range of contexts, and consider its potential to transform students and teachers alike. This is an ideal text for courses in educational foundations, multicultural education, urban studies, sociology of education, English education, social justice education, literacy education, socio-cultural contexts of teaching, adult education, cultural studies, schools and communities, and popular education.


Show Summary Details
Restricted access



Elsa Roberts Auerbach, Professor Emerita, taught in the applied linguistics and English Departments at the University of Massachusetts Boston for 30 years. She has written extensively about critical and participatory approaches to adult language and literacy education for English language learners. Her research and publications focus on curriculum development, family literacy, worker education, and teacher education; she has participated in various adult education and literacy initiatives in South Africa since 1995. She currently works with Jewish Voice for Peace, a U.S. organization engaged in the strug- gle for a just peace in Israel/Palestine, and is part of the editorial collective of Amandla! Magazine. William Ayers is former Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago and author of several books including Teaching Toward Freedom and Public Enemy. Anne Carlson teaches a self-contained fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade class at Drummond, a public Montessori school in Chicago. Previously she worked for several years teaching in dual-language programs, including Whittier. Anne is an active rank-and-file member of the Chicago Teachers Union. She lives in Chicago with her husband Michael Staudenmaier and their three children. 148 | contributors Caroline Heller is a professor at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she also directs the Ph.D. program in educational studies (individually designed specialization). She is the author of Until We Are Strong Together and Reading Claudius: A Memoir in Two Parts. Janise Hurtig is a researcher at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she directs the Community Writing Project, which she began...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.