The next stage (tho it wasn’t actually so neatly chronological) was reading stuff about empowerment, about language as power, about power differentials, about the classroom as a stage where power plays are enacted.
That seemed to make some sense:
* were my students perhaps behaving in ways similar to disenfranchised groups like those Paulo Freire talked about?
* Even tho they are not a discriminated minority but children of the overwhelming majority?
* If so, in what ways are they disenfranchised?
* How does this work?
I also explored the politics and psychologies behind various approaches:
* what values underlie the “project method”?
* how might the white, liberal values I held be different from those of my students?
* how might those differences play out with my students?
* what are the arguments for and against “traditional” instruction?
* how valid are those arguments?
I read E.D. Hirsch,
several books by Henry Giroux.
I re-read John Holt.
I read Melanie Philips.
I read and re-read and re-read John Taylor Gatto.
(To be continued).