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Addressing issues like new technology, misinformation fake news and a changing economy, the authors make a case for a different kind of educational model. Once you have learned how to ask questions - relevant and appropriate and substantial questions - you have learned how to learn and no one can keep you from learning whatever you want or need to know. The older school environment stressed that learning is being told what happened.

The inquiry environment stresses that learning is a happening in itself. Every page has a new piece of simple, eloquent wisdom. There are many more highlights too long to include here. This book will push your thinking and blow your mind demonstrating how problems we face in education today look almost identical to those we faced 50 years ago. Caliphate Podcast.

It will force yo A must-read for every pre-service and current teacher! It will force you to confront your own assumptions. It will make you uncomfortable, especially if you have bought into the current system, or rather, been taught to buy in. But I think these questions are essential.

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They are maybe even the most essential part about being a teacher. Even though it was written in , its words could not be truer today.


  • Teaching Social Studies as a Subversive Activity.
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  • Teaching as a subversive activity.

They still resonate so fiercely that I wonder why so little progress has been made in the 40 years since Postman and Weingartner championed their subversive, inquiry-based methods. The only thing left, as a pre-service teacher myself, is to navigate the current educational system which creates generations of students who hate learning , and push back as much as possible. Ask questions. Ask hard questions.

SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITY

Stand firm. Humanize the students I will be teaching. Give them back the power of learning. And hopefully not get fired in the process. Shelves: political-social-science.

Moodle in English: Moodling as a Subversive Activity

This was my favorite book for the Educational Psychology course taken at Grinnell College in Iowa during a brief flirtation with the idea of becoming a high school teacher I had so loved so many of mine should the Revolution be accomplished or delayed. While I remember many of the readings for this course, I don't recall the name of its instructor. This is dismaying as he was, like the readings, memorable in many respects. While he looked straight and wasn't one of the younger instr This was my favorite book for the Educational Psychology course taken at Grinnell College in Iowa during a brief flirtation with the idea of becoming a high school teacher I had so loved so many of mine should the Revolution be accomplished or delayed.

While he looked straight and wasn't one of the younger instructors, the fact that he had us read this and Summerhill in addition to more traditional texts showed that he'd adapted to his students and their concerns--not, I imagine, the easiest thing for college professors during the sixties. As it turned out, I learned eventually that teacher certification requirements varied between the fifty states and that no one seemed to be on top of the differences. At that point I wasn't sure where I'd end up after college as it happened, it was to be NYC for over four years and, besides, I evolved into a such a serious student that I hardly gave any thought to career preparation, even when hopes of the Revolution had diminished substantially.

Apr 18, Catherine rated it liked it Shelves: nonfiction , lit-crit. It was disappointing to read that the ideas my teachers' college has been presenting as "new" teaching "reform" have been around since before I was born. Will new ideas in education always take 40 years to percolate? Jan 04, Kenneth rated it really liked it. I liked this book so much when I read it in high school that, when I was finished with it, I stuck my copy in the teachers' lounge. Dec 09, J rated it liked it.

The material is dated, but it is still forward thinking. I would say its pretty much the blue print for contemporary cutting edge thinking in - not bad considering Postman wrote this in Aug 14, Boreal Elizabeth rated it it was amazing. Neil Postman is responsible for me dropping out of high school, pursuing teaching in college and dropping out of teaching after my student teaching.

Overall, I found Teaching as a Subversive Activity to be engaging, insightful, and entertaining. The central arguments are clearly stated within the first three chapters, and the authors provide numerous examples and illustrations to reinforce them throughout the rest of the book.

These arguments are certainly bold, and the writing style matches this boldness, to the point of being deliberately provocative at times — especially, I imagine, for readers with a strong commitment to traditional forms of sch Overall, I found Teaching as a Subversive Activity to be engaging, insightful, and entertaining. These arguments are certainly bold, and the writing style matches this boldness, to the point of being deliberately provocative at times — especially, I imagine, for readers with a strong commitment to traditional forms of schooling.

But then, such provocation seems unavoidable considering the authors are calling for nothing short of a fundamental restructuring of the traditional system. For anyone involved in public education, whether they end up agreeing with everything or not, this book poses some important questions to consider. Rather, there are numerous very specific examples and practical suggestions throughout the latter half of the book, including actual transcripts from lessons taught using the inquiry method.

One of the most helpful sections along these lines is a chapter toward the end that offers steps that can be taken immediately by those who wish to create a more subversive learning environment in their classrooms. In evaluating the central thesis of the book, it seems to me helpful to view it as three connected claims: 1 That there are numerous difficult problems facing modern America and the world 2 That these problems are not adequately addressed by the current public education system 3 That a change in the focus and structure of the system toward the cultivation of critical thinking and free inquiry would better address these problems For my own part, I am convinced that all three of the above are well-founded, though the final claim begs some important questions.

Claim 1 — that there are numerous problems facing us today — seems to me to be fairly self-evident to anybody following politics or world news. As I have outlined it here, claim 3 follows somewhat naturally from the first two, such that if you are convinced by the first two, you are likely to be convinced by the third — that what we need is a shift toward a less bureaucratic educational system, one that encourages critical thinking and free inquiry so as to better handle the rapid change and instability of present reality.

As previously mentioned, however, I do think there are some important questions to be raised regarding this claim. For example, if students are to be largely responsible for defining their own curriculum, what will ensure that this curriculum will remain oriented toward what is in their best interest rather than veering toward the latest fads or trivia?

Or again, if students are being encouraged to freely question authority, won't this undermine somewhat the ability of educators to maintain an orderly and productive learning environment? These questions are not so much arguments against the subversive teaching strategies outlined by Postman and Weingartner as reservations about how they might be taken too far or otherwise implemented poorly. In the end, I think public education should change, and it should change in the direction in which the authors suggest. That many questions and concerns accompany such a major shift in both theory and practice should probably come as no surprise, and one can't in fairness blame the authors for failing to address them all in this book.

The Bottom Line If you are an educator at any level or otherwise have a stake in public education, I highly recommend Teaching as a Subversive Activity. Whether or not you end up agreeing with the conclusions drawn by the authors, the questions they raise about the structure of the public education system and the place of such a system in society are of great importance, especially for those who are an integral part of that system.

If you do not currently have a stake in public education, there is still much in this book that may be of interest. Since all of us, as members of the public, must deal in one way or another with the effects of the public education system, we all share an interest in understanding those effects better.

Jun 28, Barry Kenna rated it it was amazing.

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I read Postman's account of TVs affect on American culture, politics and education 'Amusing Ourselves to Death' and was impressed with how clear and incisive his writing is. As result of that, I decided to buy this book and I wasn't disappointed. Most of Postman's work 'posts' cause he's a postman after all more questions than it answers but this book can be seen as a call to arms for teachers.

It promotes a disregard for old stale teaching methods and calls for a focus on how people learn; in I read Postman's account of TVs affect on American culture, politics and education 'Amusing Ourselves to Death' and was impressed with how clear and incisive his writing is. It promotes a disregard for old stale teaching methods and calls for a focus on how people learn; instilling in students a curiosity and confidence to inquire into the world around them.

This book reminds teachers why they teach in the first place. This book also offers some practical approaches for teachers while aiming to show the importance of teachers not only in schools but their greater affect on society. It is a book that shows teaching is less about filling students minds with information but rather removing lazy, muddled thinking and promoting logic, reason and curiosity Feb 08, Thom Gething rated it liked it.

Written nearly 50 years ago, this book burns brightly in the first "This book was written because we are serious, dedicated, professional educators, which means we are simple, romantic men who risk contributing to the mental-health problem by maintaining a belief in the improvability of the human condition through education. Written nearly 50 years ago, this book burns brightly in the first half as the authors set out their case for an upheaval in education.

There is a long section on inquiry-based learning, which is carefully and passionately argued, with another chapter on what was one of Postman's enduring concerns, the role of language and in particular how language shapes though Sapir-Whorf. The final sections burn a little brightly, possibly because they have dated the most, but it is striking how much of the book frames issues still being debated in the present such as the role of technology in teaching and learning.

Oct 21, Jeff Wong rated it it was amazing. As I am fully immersed in attempting to deliver an Inquiry-based education for my students, I went back to read this seminal tome on this topic. It certainly delivers! Published in , the authors write in what must have been a sacrilegious fashion to the educators of the day as so very much of those points attack the present dogma in the educational field in which I am in.

What's it good for? How do I know? If you are trying to help others to learn, please read this book. Mar 07, Justin Martin rated it it was amazing Shelves: about-teaching. Astounding, no-bullshit argument about the dynamic wonderment of the student compared to the capitalist, abusive lurch of a dying school system. It dares to ask what - and who - we say school is for, and whether we back that up with an environment that feeds them rather than crushing them as we teach them to be rote mimics.

I sorely wish Postman was still alive. The whole book is the obvious, stated with the force of the strange and divine. Actual rating 3. It's not a full 4 simply as a matter of personal enjoyability--most of this stuff I already knew from my first teaching course. Thankfully a lot has changed in education since this was published and constructivist methods are more the norm, where I live anyway.

Still, this is a good read with some powerful radical ideas. Jun 18, Caroline Kuhlman o'neill rated it did not like it. As though a broken system was the responsibility of students to rectify. Apr 24, Sean rated it it was amazing. A relevant book seeking to find answers to educational problems which still exist today, 50 years after its writing.

I was just looking through this again and am saddened by how many of these issues, written about almost 50 years ago, are still relevant in today's schools. I consider it a must-read for teachers. Not revolutionary but a good rant all the same. Oct 31, Sophie rated it really liked it Shelves: 4-stars.

Read this for one of my classes but was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Jan 09, Antonio rated it really liked it.