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Teaching Toward Freedom: Moral Commitment and Ethical Action in the Classroom Hardcover – September 10, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0807032688 ISBN-10: 0807032689 Edition: 1St Edition

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press; 1St Edition edition (September 10, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807032689
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807032688
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,430,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Ayers, an activist for progressive teaching methods, has written and coauthored numerous books on innovative schools and the societal issues faced by teachers. Here he calls on teachers to commit themselves to helping students reach "the full measure of their humanity," embrace their differences, and realize they have the power to change their own lives. Seminars on classroom management, discipline, and lesson planning completely ignore his method, what he calls "teaching toward freedom," and the teaching of ethical action, which requires dialogue between teachers and students as each learns from the other and from the world around them. Teachers need to be "works in progress," encouraging their students to be the same. Bolstering his argument with frequent quotes from authors as diverse as Langston Hughes, Toni Morrison, and Pablo Neruda, Ayers argues convincingly against centralized testing and zero-tolerance policies, which turn classrooms into "sterile and one-dimensional places devoid of teachable moments." Powerful, thought-provoking, and a must-read for everyone concerned with the state of education. Deborah Donovan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

Teaching toward Freedom is powerful, thought-provoking, and a must-read for everyone concerned with the state of education.--Deborah Donovan, Booklist

[Ayers] makes the case that larger society needs to understand what it means to teach toward freedom. . . .Ayers's model asks that students imagine different future worlds where justice is better served and where we create a vision needed for a better world."--Lee Baker, Altar Magazine

"Five thoughtful essays that examine how teachers need to value their students, challenge themselves, and teach for freedom."--Bob Peterson, Rethinking Schools

Praise for A Kind and Just Parent:

"William Ayers is as sensitive and gifted a chronicler as he is a teacher."--Studs Terkel, author of Hope Dies Last and Working


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By heyharvey on July 31, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This text was a required read for a teaching methods course. I was floored by how the perspective of Ayers changed the way I think about teaching. Even if you don't agree with everything he says - and you probably won't - the read is well worth your time. His perspective towards teaching, and society in general, is so unique and powerful. This should be required reading on all college campuses!
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By Rachel Roos on September 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book for a penny as one of my textbooks for an ethics class and it was rated used in good condition. The book had never even been cracked open and was brand new. To my surprise they are selling this book on campus as a used book for 10 or more dollars and for the kindle for 12.99.
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By Es on October 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed reading this book due to its focus on a humanistic way of teaching. Teachers aren't meant to simply instruct and reprimand, but instead they should inspire students to learn and grow. Great book for all soon to be teachers who want to shape the world in a more positive light.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 28, 2013
Format: Paperback
I had to read this book in graduate school. It is terrible! It's full of half witted cliches and nonsensical turn of phrase. I am a teacher now, and this book has not helped me one iota in the classroom.

I think my favorite part the book has to be when he compares cancer to freckles, or refers to students as "thingified dookhickys and widgets"

The book is also written like one long stream of conscious ramble. I think it only makes sense to the author.

Don't waste your money.
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41 of 117 people found the following review helpful By Jaenelle on October 31, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I had to read this book for one of my teaching classes, and out of all the awful books my instructor assigned during the semester, this one was the worst.

First of all, Mr. Ayers includes so many poems in it that he may as well have just compiled an anthology. Most of them are not even good poems. They are the likes of that which you might see a 10 year old write. I don't know why he bothered to write a book when he contributed less than half of it. But if you like crap "poetry," then you might enjoy this book.

Secondly, Mr. Ayers doesn't seem familiarised with the precepts of economics. He says that all children are entitled to a free and high quality education, all while dissing private schools. However, he fails to understand that you can have free OR high quality, but not both. This is because he hasn't yet asked himself who will provide this free and high quality education, nor has he considered what it means to deserve something.

[...]
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