A Rose by any other name

I liked a lot of the stuff Rose was talking about, but I feel like he's repeating a lot the issues/ideas we've already discussed in the class. I also think he focuses too much on rigid structures as the solution to everything. To quote POMO, "heuristics don't solve everything." I worry that it is a bit too much of pulling everyone up to the "norm" decided by those in charge. Beyond that, though, I did really like some of his exploration on where students are coming from and his attempts to contextualize the changing nature of what students need to know.

Lives Still on the Boundary

On page 128 of Lives on the Boundary, Mike Rose writes, “American meritocracy is validated and sustained by the deep-rooted belief in equal opportunity. But can we really say that kids like those I taught have equal access to America’s educational resources?

Teaching to transgress in a (post)9/11 world

I was excited to read bell hooks because I wanted to feel happy. That might sounds simplistic and perhaps hopeful is the better word. But let me give you a quick taste of what we are reading in Postmodern right now and you might understand this need to just feel happy/hopeful about pedagogy...

"The subject, we must understand, is not the biological individual but the discourse effect produced by a dominant ideology whose purpose is precisely to create subjects subjected to the system" (Alcorn, "Changing the Subject of Postmodern Theory")

Freedom isn't free...

I find it interesting how hooks found solace in the theories of Freire while she was a grad student (and after). In fact, it's more than obvious that the title "Teaching to Transgress" was a next step, or natural offspring of Freire's pedagogy and ethos. I think there is something to be said about the powerful message that hooks is putting forth: it is the duty of the instructor to, at the very least, give students the choice to take advantage of rhetorical tools in order to liberate themselves or not. Emancipation through the classroom is a very noble idea.

vulnerability and mistakes

In talking about hooks’s pedagogy, there are two specific interrelated issues I want to focus on: the concepts of safe space and vulnerability as they function in the classroom. Hooks writes, “The experience of professors who educate for critical consciousness indicates that many students, especially students of color, may not feel at all ‘safe’ in what appears to be a neutral setting” (39).

Teaching to Transgress?

In bell hooks’ Teaching to Transgress, we first learn that hooks was bored and frustrated in her undergraduate and graduate classes, and thus as teacher is wholly invested in the notion of excitement in the classroom. For hooks, “to enter classroom settings…with the will to share the desire to encourage excitement, was to transgress” (7).

Teaching to Transgress, Martin Luther King Jr., and The Color Purple

“It seemed ironic that at a gathering called to honor Martin Luther King, Jr., who had often dared to speak and act in resistance to the status quo, black women were still negating our right to engage in oppositional political dialogue and debate, especially since this is not a common occurrence in black communities… There is a link between the silencing we experience, the censoring, the anti-intellectualism in predominantly black settings that are supposedly supportive (like all-black woman space), and that silencing that takes place in institutions wherein black women and women of color are

Teaching to transguess?

bell hooks has a lot of interesting stuff in Teaching to Transgress, so I sort of hopped around to different articles so I could talk about a variety of topics that caught my attention. The first issue I really liked was her view of teacher-student interaction from Engaged Pedagogy. The idea that a teacher needs to be constantly learning in the class alongside his/her students (15) is really cool alongside her idea of empowering students.

Reading to Transgress

There are innumerable contradictions throughout hooks’ text. However, my issue isn’t with the contradictions as contradictions. My issues with Teaching to Transgress and hooks’ brand of critical pedagogy stem from her unwillingness to acknowledge these contradictions. She seems to be speaking out of both sides of her mouth without acknowledging that she is or why she is doing so.

Modes of Discourse

One of the most interesting issues from Smitherman's book was her discussion of the different modes of discourse that are central to AAVE speech. Through looking at these modes--call-response, signification, tonal semantics, and narrative sequencing--Smitherman examines the unique character of AAVE and how its elements constitute a structured language complete with its own rhetorical style. Using these four modes we can begin to examine the process of the language itself and how it fits into the wider context of communication in Englishes.

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