Teaching Defiance

Teaching Defiance - Michael Newman

TEACHING DEFIANCE: Stories and Strategies for Activist Educators
A book written in wartime by Michael Newman

Published in 2006 by Jossey Bass, San Francisco, a Wiley Imprint

This book won the 2007 Cyril Houle Award for Outstanding Literature in Adult Education from the American Association of Adult and Continuing Education.

About the title:
Michael Newman began writing Teaching Defiance when the USA, the UK and Australia were planning to invade Iraq. And he finished the book while foreign forces were still engaged in combat and occupation there. So the book was written in wartime. Newman argues that the activist educator’s role is to help people make up their own minds. It is to help people learn how to resist unwanted controls imposed on them by politicians, peers, so-called experts, mass media moguls, ideologues, fundamentalists and fanatics. So the task, the challenge, the mission of the activist educator is to teach defiance.

Extracts from the cover:
“This is a book about choice. It urges activist educators to help people break free from their pasts, take control of the present, and make deliberate defiant choices about their futures. … Michael Newman  … examines the use of rational discourse, non-rational 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.”

Reactions to the book:
Stephen Brookfield endorses Teaching Defiance as:

“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 … Put simply, there is no one else in adult education who writes as powerfully and lyrically as Mike Newman.”

And Glenn Ellen Starr Stilling opens a review of Teaching Defiance
with these words:

“ It takes only a few pages of reading this book to be moved from curious (about its title) to motivated (How can I become an activist educator?) to inspired.”

Who is the book for?
Teaching Defiance will interest activists and activist educators who want to help themselves and others take more control of their own lives. It can be used in programs on communication, problem solving, negotiation, organising, campaigning, leadership development, social work, community development, and political studies. It can be a text for programs for adult and continuing educators, people teaching in higher education, human resource developers (yes!), and labour and trade union educators. It can be read by people interested in critical thinking, insight, emotion, action and the moral challenges and dilemmas associated with social and political struggle

Buying the book:
You can order the book through bookshops, on the web at www.wiley.com, and through other on-line booksellers.