April 23, 2016
Around 1982 I purchased: Teaching as a Subversive Activity: A no-holds-barred assault on outdated teaching methods – with dramatic and practical proposals on how education can be made relevant to today’s world. – 1969 by Neil Postman & Charles Weingartner.
At the time I purchased it, I was pretty much a full-time volunteer at Collet Park Elementary School.
Not just your regular hard-working mommie-volunteer
When I say “full-time volunteer,” I did many of the regular mommie volunteer jobs — bringing brownies for parties, periodically helping on the school playground or after school as the children were leaving school. Like some mothers, I was an active member of the PTA and was on the Advisory Council – I was the parent sponsor of the Student Council. I headed up the talent show, and the ice cream social that took place after the show; the weekly pop-corn sales; projects that the students did, etc.
But in addition to all this, I was also inside the classrooms, day after day, listening to children who read to me; teaching some classes; learning about the unreasonable conditions under which teachers had to teach; learning about all the responsibilities teachers had outside the classrooms; observing how teachers taught; observing the principal (who considered parents the enemy) as he coached the teachers to make sure to keep all school work away from parents; watching the students in the classrooms; taking about 1/2 of the students (5th grade non-readers) out of the classroom and teaching reading, so the teacher could teach the rest of the children; teaching music from class to class; officially reviewing curriculum from 4 or 5 publishers; etc.
[note: I didn’t know the first thing about teaching reading then, but ended up inspiring at least one girl to get a real tutor and learn how to really read.]
Teaching as a Subversive Activity — It is meant to instruct teachers
Recently I showed the book Teaching as a Subversive Activity to a couple friends. When they read the title, they assumed the book was written to expose the tactics used by some teachers to subvert students.
I pointed out that I had purchased the book in a teacher supply store about 34 years ago. It was written to TEACH TEACHERS HOW TO SUBVERSIVELY CHANGE STUDENTS’ ATTITUDES, BELIEFS AND BEHAVIORS. Continue reading