Back to: Learning and Teaching – Unit 4
Subversive Education Meaning
Teaching as a subversive activity means where teachers teach students to make decisions based on the knowledge they have acquired. They encourage the students to think in their ways instead of doing what others tell them to do. Subversive education will allow the students to develop their ideas, roles, and use their creativity that is different from the social norms.
Teaching as a Subversive Activity
- “Teaching as a Subversive Activity” was a book published by Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner, in 1969.
- The book gives a new perspective about education that is modern and controversial. It comes with the idea of student-centered learning instead of teacher-centered teaching as well as the removal of syllabus and textbooks.
- “Teaching as a Subversive Activity” suggests following this new form of education to build a type of person that is creative, innovative, flexible, and tolerant.
- It focuses on making the students think and find answers to questions for themselves instead of the teacher doing it for them.
- This is to help the students in growing up to become smart decision-makers and problem solvers who are open to new things, ready to face challenges, and know how to deal with and overcome their everyday circumstances.
- It proposes the elimination of books, subjects, tests, grades, and classes where the teaching is teaching and students are just listening.
- Instead of following the traditional role, it suggests that teachers should become more of a coach to the students.
- Instead of providing all the knowledge to the students, the teachers should just guide them a little in their learning process.
- The writers believed that students should come up with their ideas and opinions rather than agreeing to what someone else says is true.
- Instead of just listening to teachers, the students should be allowed to make their observations.
- They should be able to make their meanings and have viewed through their understanding.
- It also encourages students to think critically about society and culture.
However, the recommendations of Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner were not taken well and considered radical by educators back then and even today. But there are a few teachers who have become subversive and taken the risk of following some of the suggestions provided in the book for the best interest of their students.