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Teaching Toward Freedom: Moral Commitment and Ethical Action in the Classroom


reviewed by Geert ten Dam — 2006

coverTitle: Teaching Toward Freedom: Moral Commitment and Ethical Action in the Classroom
Author(s): William Ayers
Publisher: Beacon Press, Boston
ISBN: 0807032689, Pages: 168, Year: 2004
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In Teaching toward freedom: Moral commitment and ethical action in the classroom, William Ayers takes us on his quest for fostering humanity and freedom through education. Why do we teach? In his own words: “to demonstrate to students, and to yourself, through daily effort and interaction, that they are valued, that their humanity is honoured, and that their growth, enlightenment, and liberation are the paramount concern” (pp. 33-34). In order to elaborate on this humanistic perspective on the development of students, Ayers draws on film, poetry, novels, and various examples from everyday educational practice. Each chapter is organized around a central question. In chapter 1 this is “What is teaching for?” The reader is presented with many counterexamples of  the type of teaching Ayers aims at.  Especially the importance of being able to make moral decisions is highlighted. Regarding the competences students need for this, the notions of “will” and “responsibility”... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 108 Number 1, 2006, p. 15-17
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11949, Date Accessed: 11/27/2014 1:33:59 AM

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About the Author
  • Geert ten Dam
    University of Amsterdam
    E-mail Author
    DR. GEERT TEN DAM is a professor of education at the Graduate School of Teaching and Learning of the University of Amsterdam.
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