Shanti Elliott discusses “Teaching and Learning on the Verge: Democratic Education in Action,” with Bill Ayers.
At 57th Street Books
About the book: Our changing world demands that all students become agile thinkers who can grow sturdy interpersonal and civic relationships. This book proposes that teachers who think of learning as “playing with power” tap the creative and subversive energies of young people, making academic work far more consequential than a piece of paper with a grade on it. Young people must learn to play democracy just as they might play a violin or a sport: not as a game of “let’s pretend,” but fully participating in the language, spaces, and possibilities of public life.
Based on 20 years of teaching experience and research in schools across the country, “Teaching and Learning on the Verge” demonstrates how educators in all disciplines can integrate civic engagement, multicultural literacy, and leadership into their classrooms and programs. Featuring voices from literature and philosophy in dialogue with the living stage of classrooms, streets, and community spaces, this book offers an imaginative and practical guide to democratic education.
“Teaching and Learning on the Verge” will help educators to:
– Apply models for breaking down walls between school and society.
– Provide students with experiences that deepen their understanding of identity, justice, and relationships.
– Make learning meaningful to students by bridging communities, generations, and other social divides.
– Resist a narrow focus on achievement and make space for students as independent thinkers and leaders of social change.
– Make schools stronger by challenging the processes that people in power use to thwart movements for equality.
About the author: Shanti Elliott directs the Civic Engagement program at Francis Parker School in Chicago. She also co-leads the Teachers’ Inquiry Project and teaches in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. Her work focuses on education for social change, through community-school partnerships, anti-racism pedagogy, and deepening political awareness. This work involves diverse partnerships and collaborations, from the US-Russia Social Expertise Exchange, to the Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants, to community-based education activism. Shanti has written for a wide range of publications, from Folklore Forum to The Slavic Review to Schools Journal. Her book, “Teaching and Learning on the Verge: Democratic Education in Action,” was published by Teachers College Press in June of 2015.
About Bill Ayers: Bill Ayers is an educator, peace and justice activist, and author of “Public Enemy,” “Fugitive Days,” “To Teach,” and several other books on teaching as an ethical, political and intellectual pursuit.