Synthesis/Regeneration 5   (Winter 1993)


radicalteacher (rad i k'l te char)


"After a careful review of the evidence, the Court concludes that SAT scores capture a student's academic achievement no more than a student's yearbook photograph captures the full range of her experiences in high school."

óDistrict Judge John M. Walker, New York



radicalteacher (rad i k'l te char) n.   1. one who provides a student--rather than teacher-centered classroom; nonauthoritarian.   2. one who shares rather than transmits information.     3. one who aids in student growth and empowerment by drawing out what is already there and latent.   4. one who respects students.   5. Radicalteachers have a relatively coherent set of commitments and assumptions from which they teach, and they are aware of it; this awareness distinguishes them from rocks, mollusks, and nonradical teachers.   6. Radicalteachers possess the capacity to listen well and the self-control not to always fill silence with the sound of their own voices.   7. Radicalteachers believe that theory and practice are not separable.   8. Radicalteachers are concerned with process as much as product.   9. Good intentions are not enough to create a radicalteacher.   10. Radicalteachers do not divide neatly into four component parts: scholarship, teaching, service, and institutional need.   11. Radicalteachers understand the power of language and do not refer to their part-time faculty colleagues as part-time persons (or people).   12. The teaching of radical teachers (radicalteaching, v.) is holistic: it assumes that minds do not exist separate from bodies and that the bodies or material conditions, in which the potential and will to learn reside, are female as well as male and in a range of colors; that thought grows out of lived experience and that people come from a variety of ethnic, cultural, and economic backgrounds; that people have made different life choices and teach and learn out of a corresponding number of perspectives.   13. Radicalteachers work with themselves, their classes, and their colleagues to discover, name, and change sexism, racism, classism, and heterosexism.   14. Radicalteachers demand a lot from their students; e.g., we can refuse to accept passive, obedient learning and insist upon critical thinking (Adrienne Rich, Taking Women Students Seriously, Radical Teacher #11, 1979).   15. There are varieties of radicalteachers; e.g., feminist radicalteachers are not in every respect identical with socialist radicalteachers.   16. Radicalteachers do not assume they know it all.




(Defn. reprinted with the kind permission of Radical Teacher.)



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