Sunday, December 04, 2005

"We must complain...

"We must complain. Yes, plain, blunt complaint, ceaseless agitation, unfailing exposure of dishonesty and wrong - this is the ancient, unerring way to liberty, and we must follow it."

-W.E.B. DuBois, quoted in Teaching Toward Freedom: Moral Commitment and Ethical Action in the Classroom, by Bill Ayers, page 108.

I rarely sit down to consume a whole book in one afternoon. I am, to use the title of Tim Burke's blog, "easily distracted." But I dwelled some yesterday with Bill Ayers's book on teaching, and really enjoyed it.

It is full of nugget like quotes as above. He is right up there with ole Maxine Greene as an education professor who reads beyond the job, especially in fiction and poetry. It was like spending time with a literate friend in his library, pulling out volumes, and thinking what Jose Saramago, Jean-Paul Sartre, Stokely Carmichael, Nikki Giovanni, and assorted others might say to us as teachers and learners in this dark, accountability laden time, when teaching and learning are narrowed in definition and thought of in cold, instrumental terms more often than not.

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