• Steal This Classroom: Teaching and Learning Unbound

    Jody Cohen, Anne Dalke (see profile)
    Barrier-free design, Ecology, Friendship, Inclusive education, Education--Philosophy, Sustainability
    Item Type:
    incarceration, resilience, Unlearning, Accessibility, Inclusive pedagogy, Philosophy of education, Play
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    In college classrooms, an urban high school, a public library, a playground, and a women’s prison, Anne Dalke and Jody Cohen share scenes where teaching and learning take them by surprise; these are moments of uncertainty, sometimes constructed as failure. They weave through their own voices those of students and colleagues, demonstrating the complex playfulness of collaborative and transdisciplinary forms of teaching and learning. Classrooms are sometimes “stolen” by the complex systems surrounding and permeating the activities that take place there; Jody and Anne explore ways to steal them back. Examining what is hidden but present in such moments can turn them into breakthroughs, powerful learning for educators and students—revealing how failure itself might not be what it seems. Anne and Jody try out alternative tales, exploring a pedagogical orientation that is ecological in the largest sense, engaging teachers and students in re-thinking learning and teaching in classrooms, and in their larger lives, as complex, enmeshed, volatile eco-systems. Not solving the contradictions, but abstracting from the immediate, they offer a dialogue, telling hard stories and funny ones, involving others’ stories in response, demonstrating the complex playfulness of collaborative and transdisciplinary work. They make concrete suggestions about how academic and other structures might open up; they also remain porous and interactive, inviting reader-participants to join in transfiguring what spaces of teaching and learning are and can be-and-do.
    For nearly two decades, Anne Dalke & Jody Cohen were colleagues at Bryn Mawr College, where they co-wrote and co-taught cross-disciplinary classes on campus. Now Jody teaches Language Arts at YouthBuild Philadelphia, a school for young people who have been out of school, and Anne volunteers in Philadelphia county jails and Pennsylvania state prisons, where readers and writers search for personal, political and transformational responses to their shared questions about accountability and equity.
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    Last Updated:
    4 years ago


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