Alternatives in Education: Critical Pedagogy for Disaffected Youth

Alternatives in Education: Critical Pedagogy for Disaffected Youth

Alternatives in Education: Critical Pedagogy for Disaffected Youth

Alternatives in Education: Critical Pedagogy for Disaffected Youth

Excerpt

There are many arenas where critical educators work to make a difference for our youth. Some work at the level of policy, fighting in and against state legislatures and local school boards for those necessary changes that will level the playing field. Others work with verve and vision in the classrooms of our nation, struggling on a dayto-day basis to make classrooms into vital sites for social transformation and critical citizenship. Still others, and I would include myself in this category, function as cultural workers in universities and other sites, developing both global and local critiques of schooling, and forging counterhegemonic strategies for collective struggle against the depredations of capitalist social relations. None of us work alone. We find the places where we can effect the most change and make our stand. Greg Goodman has chosen the classroom where he has worked for twenty-five years as a counselor-educator. And now he has expanded the horizon of his critical work by writing a book and sharing his hard-won lessons with those readers lucky enough to read through these pages. Greg has written a book about the struggle to reframe our schools and to reinvent them as democratic institutions. In doing so he has drawn upon some of the insights from those of us who work in different arenas -- such as critical pedagogy and cultural studies -- and he has shared with us how these approaches can provide students in alternative education with rich and invigorating experiences. He has also drawn upon some time-tested approaches that he has carried with him for decades, such as experiential learning and approaches that address the psychological and social needs of disaffected and alienated youth who have been abused and infantilized by our market culture.

Greg Goodman knows a great deal about creating alternative approaches to education through democratizing the experience and learning of students and I am pleased that teachers now have the opportunity to share Greg's expertise and his passion for social justice.

Peter McLaren Los Angeles, California March 1999 . . .

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