Publication Date: April 17, 2004
These essays follow a veteran teacher educator and school reform activist as he tries to understand an enterprise he calls “mysterious and immeasurable.” By focusing on the authentic experiences of teaching and learning that he has lived over the past 15 years, Bill Ayers reconsiders, argues, reflects, and searches for ways to break through the routine and the ordinary to see teaching as the important and extraordinary work it is. Covering a range of issues—standards, equity, testing, professionalism—this book shows us teaching as an achingly personal calling, and ultimately as a social and a political act. With these essays, Bill Ayers invites teachers into a wonderful conversation about the meaning of teaching as craft, as art, as vocation. He reminds us that an active kind of hope is at the core of teaching—seeing things both as they are and as they could be.
William Ayers is Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago (retired), education activist, and bestselling author of Teaching the Taboo: Courage and Imagination in the Classroom (with Rick Ayers), To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher, Third Edition, and To Teach: The Journey, in Comics (with Ryan Alexander-Tanner).
“As he invites readers to look again at Kidder, Kohl, and Kozol, Bill Ayers takes us on a journey of what it means to be a teacher. He reminds us that whatever else we teach, we teach ourselves. Through anecdote and analysis, Ayers shows us why the current schemes for transforming education are so wrong.”
—Susan Ohanian, long-time teacher who runs a high-stakes testing and NCLB resistance website
“The work of teacher education and professional development is largely a labor of love, a wonderful task of encouraging delight, surprise, reflection, and imagination. To have a volume like this to draw on is a tremendous asset.”
—Frances Rust, New York University