Shop Costumes Learn more nav_sap_plcc_6M_fly_beacon $5 Albums All-New Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote Introducing Handmade New Kitchen Scale from AmazonBasics Amazon Gift Card Offer redoaks redoaks redoaks  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Voyage AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Shop Now Learn more
Teaching As a Subversive Activity and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Teaching As a Subversive Activity First Delta Printing Edition

37 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0385290098
ISBN-10: 0385290098
Why is ISBN important?
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used
Buy new
More Buying Choices
51 New from $7.37 49 Used from $2.98 1 Collectible from $9.95
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

Save up to 80% on Textbook Rentals Rent Textbooks
$11.28 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Teaching As a Subversive Activity
  • +
  • The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School
  • +
  • Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
Total price: $34.61
Buy the selected items together


Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 219 pages
  • Publisher: Delta Publishing; First Delta Printing edition (July 15, 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385290098
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385290098
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Neil Postman was chairman of the department of communication arts at New York University. He passed away in 2003.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

107 of 117 people found the following review helpful By Neil Hinrichsen on June 8, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Quite simply one of the most thought-provoking books I have ever read. However hard it is to get a copy, it is MUST reading for anyone involved in educating people. Heavily influenced by McLuhan, this book is devastating in showing what classrooms REALLY teach - that there is one right answer, that the teacher has it, that memorising facts is important, that fellow students have nothing to contribute, etc etc - and how to construct an environment in which REAL learning takes place - where people learn how to learn themselves. This is one of those books that shakes one's previously-unexamined foundational assumptions of education. I cannot recommend it too highly.
4 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
122 of 146 people found the following review helpful By stoic VINE VOICE on March 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
Most reviewers seem to like Teaching as a Subversive Activity. I am not among the book's fans.

The book's authors, Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner, score a number of points. They manage to "nail" educators for relying too much on the lecture method in which students copy, then memorize, the teacher's opinions. This is a very valid criticism; teachers do little to teach students how to think; we settle for teaching them what to think. The authors make another good point about the tyranny of testing, which has become far worse since the early 1970s.

Beyond these points, I found the book to be lacking. I think that the authors meander too far from their original point - that teaching needs to be reformed. They discuss an incredible array of topics in just over 200 pages, but the discussions are superficial due to the book's excessive breadth. And their digressions are not engaging and are often only tangentially related to teaching. For instance, the long list of quotations at the end of Chapter 7 is mind numbing.

The authors' arguments remind me of the old saw that it is easier to tear down a system than it is to build a new one. Many of their suggestions are quixotic, or just laughable. Consider what the authors suggest administrators do if students write graffiti about their teachers in school bathrooms; in this case, Postman and Weingartner state that the administrators should chisel the students' words on the front of their schools. Are they joking? Did the authors ever actually attend high school?

Some of the other ideas have the sound of bad 60s hangovers. For instance, Yale University adopted the authors' idea about eliminating grades in the early 1970s - with disastrous results.
Read more ›
12 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
63 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Kerry Ponsford ( on March 24, 1999
Format: Hardcover
When the first chapter of a book on education is called 'Crap Detecting', you know you are on to a winner! Postman's provocative look at the nature of the classroom and how we educate our children is a must read by anyone who has a real interest in education being about more than tests and tick boxes. I have read this book many times and have never failed to be challenged, enthused and uplifted by it. My classroom and teaching style has been transformed by it - read it!!! Your teaching will never be the same again!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 13, 1997
Format: Paperback
This book is easily within the five best books I ever read. I read it through maybe 15 times. It helped explain to me my 12 years of school - what actually went on there. It has highly provocative ideas concerning what goes on in school. It still help guides me in my advanced and home studies. Highly recommended for all students, and teachers. A very good read for all who are not brain dead. I am not a teacher
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
59 of 80 people found the following review helpful By J. Miller on April 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book has some pleasant surprises, but leaves the reader with an overall sense of frustration.

The book's appeal today is not what it would have been in 1969. At publication, the book was probably radical for its experimental approach to education that suggests that stimulating creativity and questioning is more important than the transference of raw data to students. Today it is fascinating because it makes you wonder, Did people really think like this? Were the 1950's as mindless and autocratic as this book seems to suggest? Has no one since Socrates suggested this kind of provocative education?

The book becomes frustrating if you attempt to seriously apply their conclusions today. In suggesting that education cater primarily to the felt needs of students instead of communicated what is decidedly essential curriculum, the authors have committed intellectual suicide. If you let high school students shape their studies around their interests, there would be classes in fashion and video games and blogging. The classes would be less likely to have reading lists, and instead only movies to watch.

Sadly, the book begins by quoting Hemingway's suggestion that we need a "[...] detector" (p. 5). The next four chapters are then pretty much some of that. It suggests that education should gravitate in the direction of questioning, relevance, and addressing only what the students feel is worth knowing. This is like telling children that they should only take the medicine that tastes good.

Then, surprisingly, the book improves (I'm wondering if one of the authors picked up here). It enters into a layman's take on perspectivalism (C. 6).
Read more ›
6 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Teaching As a Subversive Activity
This item: Teaching As a Subversive Activity
Price: $11.28
Ships from and sold by

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: sociology activities, air force academy, sapir whorf, why airplanes crash, the postman book, books by author neil white