Teaching Defiance….

Here’s a pre-release review of Mike Newman’s latest book "Teaching Defiance: Stories and Strategies for Activist Educations"

"This book is for activist adult educators who want to help people make up their own minds and take control of their own lives. It examines how educators can help people identify choices – to agree, question, challenge or defy – and then learn how to make those choices effective.

A mix of theoretical discussion, vivid story-tellings and step-by-step accounts of actual practice, this book:

  • presents a unique perspective, challenging accepted ideas and approaches
  • place teaching and learning firmly within its social and political contexts
  • returns to what actually happens in the encounter between educator and learner
  • examines the use of emotions, such as frustration, dismay, anger, hate and love in learning
  • draws examples from around the world of activist adult education, education and training within organisations, community adult education, university adult education and trade union (labor) education
  • is a counter to some of the increasingly formulaic writing in organisational learning, HRD and adult education.

With a forward from Stephen Brookfield: "…a book that may well become iconic in the field, the kind of text that will cause major reverberations in the field and that people will be talking about for years to come…"

"Michael Newman—a two-time winner of the Cyril O. Houle Award for Outstanding Literature in Adult Education—examines the use of rational discourse, nonrational discourse, and storytelling to bring about personal and collective change. Using a powerful blend of theoretical discussion and step-by-step accounts of practice, Newman returns to what actually happens in that magical encounter between teacher and learner. He examines the educational use of emotions such as frustration, dismay, anger, hatred and love. He proposes ways of teaching and learning insight. He examines how educators can teach people to take effective action. And he discusses how educators and learners can work together to make that action morally justifiable. Newman argues that the educator’s role is to help people resist the controls imposed on them by others. The task, the challenge, the mission of the activist educator is to teach defiance."

For those who have not studied Adult Education at UTS, you have missed one of the most engaging and inspiring lecturers – affectionately crowned "The World’s Favourite Lecturer" by my cohort – who has the ability to create captivating stories or "potted histories" , as Mike called them, of the major adult learning theories and the key influencers in the field.
Disappointingly for new students, Mike has retired, but luckily for me lives locally and we continue the stories over coffees!

If you want to pre-order the book, I had to do it through Amazon, as the Wiley site wouldn’t recognise the fact that I lived outside the US!