Tuesday, 8 March 2011


“Thank God there are no free schools or printing; …for learning has brought disobedience and heresy into the world, and printing has divulged them… God keep us from both” So said William Berkely the Governor of Virginia in the mid 17th Century.  This is the quote that stands alone ahead of the contents page (the first item of which is ‘crap Detecting’ on p.15) in Postman and Weingartner’s  ‘Teaching as a Subversive Activity’. Never has a quote hooked me as much as this one.  You can read the whole book in pdf here: http://iwcenglish1.typepad.com/Documents/Postman_Teaching_As_Subversive_Activity.pdf but, regrettably the quote is missing from this version.

I think I am a subversive teacher to a point but possibly not in the way entirely advocated in this book. That’s, of course, if I have got the point properly. I love the yellowed pages of the 1973 edition that was gifted to me by a student but those same yellow pages and the tiny font mean I can only manage a few pages at a time. Oh and I also have a job which is, of course, being a subversive teacher. When I read the critical elements I am reminded of the scenes in The Wire where ‘Prezbo’ encounters disengaged students being taught to the national tests.

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