A space to reflect on my readings and musings, scattered and rescattered


Check Out this New Book!!!

Here's the summary:

Myles Horton, founder and director of Highlander, claimed that Highlander focused not on the world as it is, but always had its "eyes firmly on the ought to be." This book extends Horton's argument by claiming that all educational practice has its eyes on the ought to be, and that what ought to be should be forms a central issue within educational debates.

This book explores tensions surrounding the teaching of literacy practices in three settings of nontraditional adult education: correctional education, vocational education, and the Highlander Folk School. Alternatively tied to rehabilitation and criminality, to becoming a qualified and valuable employee, and to addressing issues of social and racial injustice, what literacy is supposed to do, and thus what it means, varies widely across these discourses. It explores texts as varied as curricular ideas for prison classrooms, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the FBI surveillance files of the Highlander Folk School, and lists of competencies employers want in their employees; at its center is the belief that teachers and scholars must understand the worlds toward which they, and the institutions they teach within, aspire to create through the process of education, and that teachers must necessarily learn to work with morally vexed and sometimes contradictory goals.

"Eyes on the Ought to Be" suggests gaps in which teachers and scholars might have particular agency in reshaping the ends of pedagogy; identifying such agency should be a central project for teachers and scholars in a period of increasing official attempts to control educational discourses and practices at every level.

I'm so excited that this book is finally out and so excited to read it that I can't stand the wait for it to be shipped to me. From what I've heard from those who've already consumed the text, there are insights/data in here on the Highlander Folk School that make significant contributions to our better understanding this place that we talk about so often as a model grassroots organization but really know relatively little about. Kirk Branch is a scholar who does research that is relevant, honest, and rests within what Adrienne Rich calls, "the arts of the possible."


At 12:23 PM, Blogger Kirk Branch said...

I hope it lives up to your expectations!


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