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Working for Social Justice Inside and Outside the Classroom

A Community of Students, Teachers, Researchers, and Activists

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Edited By Nancye E. McCrary and E. Wayne Ross

What were once distinct professions for serving others and building knowledge are now communities of workers struggling against a tide of increasingly unregulated capitalism that is being fed by human greed. Teachers have become education workers, joining a working class that is rapidly falling behind and that is increasingly being silenced by the power elite who control nearly all the wealth that once supported a thriving middle class. Working for Social Justice Inside and Outside the Classroom delivers critical counter-narratives aimed at resisting the insatiable greed of a few and supporting a common good for most. The book is dedicated to hopeful communities working against perpetual war, the destruction of our natural environment, increasing poverty, and social inequalities as they fight to preserve democratic ideals in a just and sustainable world. Written by some of the most influential thinkers of our time, this collection is a tapestry of social justice issues woven in and out of formal and informal education.
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Working for Social Justice Inside and Outside the Classroom: A Community of Teachers, Researchers, and Activists

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Nancye McCrary and E. Wayne Ross

This book represents a tapestry of social justice issues woven in and out of formal and informal educations and written by some of the most influential contemporary thinkers. While such a text might or should begin with a clear and singular definition of social justice, it is not possible because there is such a wide array of understandings of what it means to be just and socially responsible. In speaking about education in large research universities, Wendell Berry (2012) said, “…we are promoting a debased commodity paid for by the people, sanctioned by the government, for the benefit of the corporations” (para. 5). As you will see, the contributors to this book take aim at social justice and education in varied ways, yet intersect by articulating ideals worth weaving into the fabric of our collective consciousness.

This book is organized in four sections. In Part I, What’s Going On?, Nancye McCrary sets the stage by discussing the education and the day-to-day work of teachers, examining some of the reasons teachers, as we know them, are rapidly becoming extinct. Staughton Lynd, a well-known leader of the Freedom Schools during the Civil Rights Movement, provides an historical perspective that informs much of what is happening today and “What is to be done.” Susan Ohanian writes “Against Obedience,” explaining that teachers are being pushed to prepare their “students to be commodities in the Global Economy.” Ohanian insists “Either you join the...

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