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Hungry Minds in Hard Times

Educating for Complexity for Students of Poverty


Rosalie M. Romano and Catherine H. Glascock

Hungry Minds in Hard Times is, in part, a story of liberatory education for poor, working-class, rural, middle school students. Investigating the reopening of a local coal mine, a group of eighth graders – with teacher Bill Elasky and university professor Rosalie M. Romano – explored the contradictory, contentious, and conflicting perspectives of community members and the coal company. Multiple viewpoints amplified the complexity of the local issue and provided the backdrop for critical literacy, trust and dialogue, and a sense of connection and affinity. This book challenges the belief that a diet of disconnected facts provides nourishment for students from poor and working-class backgrounds. Instead, teaching through complexity is acknowledged as a subversive, necessary act that interrupts the dominant value system, which keeps failing as a way of life for rural and inner city students.
Contents: Barbara Waxman: Foreword – Rosalie M. Romano/Catherine H. Glascock: Preface – Rosalie M. Romano: Hungry Minds in Hard Times – Rosalie M. Romano: The Expedition and the Color of Truth – Rosalie M. Romano: Entering the Coal Mine, Metaphorically Speaking – Rosalie M. Romano/Amy Medved/Kristina Starr/Amanda Calpalbo/Kate Ball: Teachers as Knowledge Workers – Rosalie M. Romano: Pushing the Boundaries of Humaneness: Forging and Educative Community – Mumbi Kariuki/Mesut Duran/Teri Kent/Rosalie M. Romano: New Ways of Conceptualizing Teaching – Catherine H. Glascock: The Coal Project: Context Through Community – Jaylynne N. Hutchinson: Education Is a Revolutionary Thing – Rosalie M. Romano: Afterword.