Teaching Defiance: Stories and Strategies for Activist Educators

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9780787985561: Teaching Defiance: Stories and Strategies for Activist Educators

Michael Newman—a two-time winner of the Cyril O. Houle Award for Outstanding Literature in Adult Education—examines the use of rational discourse, nonrational discourse, and storytelling to bring about personal and collective change. Using a powerful blend of theoretical discussion and step-by-step accounts of practice, Newman returns to what actually happens in that magical encounter between teacher and learner. He examines the educational use of emotions such as frustration, dismay, anger, hatred and love. He proposes ways of teaching and learning insight. He examines how educators can teach people to take effective action. And he discusses how educators and learners can work together to make that action morally justifiable. Newman argues that the educator’s role is to help people resist the controls imposed on them by others. The task, the challenge, the mission of the activist educator is to teach defiance.

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From the Back Cover:

Praise for Teaching Defiance

"A book that may well become iconic in the field, the kind of text that will cause major reverberations in the field and that people will be talking about for years to come . . . . Put simply, there is no one else in adult education who writes as powerfully and lyrically as Mike Newman."
—Stephen Brookfield, distinguished professor, University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota; author, The Power of Critical Theory

"This tautly written, gutsy polemic from an engaged and committed teacher is a must-read for anyone who believes that education should make a difference—not just in their students but in the world."
—Laurent A. Parks Daloz, senior fellow, The Whidbey Institute; author, Mentor: Guiding the Journey of Adult Learners

"Through stories, role play, metaphors, problem solving, and negotiation strategies, Newman demonstrates how 'bold and decisive action' is not to be shunned but embraced by adult educators committed to social change. Provocative, engaging, and above all practical, Teaching Defiance is sure to inspire and reinvigorate the praxis of activist adult education."
—Sharan Merriam, professor of adult education, University of Georgia, co-editor, Global Issues and Adult Education

"Newman defines defiance as taking control—daring and bold resistance to arbitrary authority and taken-for-granted ideologies. He involves readers in learning to challenge acquired frames of reference and established social and political assumptions. Readers are assisted to use rational discourse to analyze and negotiate personal and collective change and to construct their own morality."
—Jack Mezirow, professor emeritus, Teachers College, Columbia University; editor, Learning as Transformation

"The greatest contribution of this book is its inspiration to all still hoping to make a difference, stemming from an adult educator bursting with energy and fully committed to confrontation and continuous rebellion."
—Tara Fenwick, associate professor, University of Alberta; editor, Sociocultural Perspectives on Learning through Work

From the Inside Flap:

This is a book about choice. It urges activist educators to help people break free from their pasts, take control of the present, and make deliberate, defiant choices about their futures. A true polemic, Teaching Defiance offers an exciting antidote to some of the formulaic writing in the fields of adult education, organizational learning, and human resource development.

Michael Newman—a two-time winner of the Cyril O. Houle Award for Outstanding Literature in Adult Education—examines the use of rational discourse, nonrational discourse, and storytelling to bring about personal and collective change. Using a powerful blend of theoretical discussion and step-by-step accounts of practice, Newman returns to what actually happens in that magical encounter between teacher and learner. He examines the educational use of emotions such as frustration, dismay, anger, hatred, and love. He proposes ways of teaching and learning insight. He examines how educators can teach people to take effective action, and he discusses how educators and learners can work together to make that action morally justifiable. Newman argues that the educator's role is to help people resist the controls imposed on them by others. The task, the challenge, the mission of the activist educator is to teach defiance.

Written for a wide range of fields of practice, Teaching Defiance can be used by educators in community adult education, activist education, education and training within organizations, university education, and trade union and labor education. This is a book for people "who are committed to helping themselves and others live out their lives through their learning."

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