When Obama intoned, “This is our moment. This is our time…Yes we can,” we needed to ask, of course, “yes, we can…what?” For me, the answer involves returning to my roots as an antiwar organizer and civil rights activist, my roots as a teacher who believes that schools and classrooms, at their best, are powered by the engines of enlightenment and freedom. The promise of education is always tied up with the radical proposition that we can change our lives right now, today, and that together we can change the world. It is a promise with particular resonance and urgency in a democratic society, for democracy assumes the necessity of continual and dynamic revitalization, and demands, then, regeneration as its lifeblood.Read the rest of Teaching for democracy.
William Ayers is a retired Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), and founder of both the Small Schools Workshop and the Center for Youth and Society. He is the author of Race Course: Against White Supremacy (Third World Press 2008) with Bernardine Dohrn, Teaching Toward Freedom: Moral Commitment and Ethical Action in the Classroom (Beacon Press, 2004), and A Kind and Just Parent: The Children of Juvenile Court (Beacon Press, 1997).
Posts by William Ayers:
Here we enter the necessary if unglamorous world of organizing, of reframing debates and dialogues at every level, of animating and rebirthing our immanent frames, of challenging the insistent dogma of commonsense, of beginning political education, of enacting self-change and making a movement from the bottom up. Through what may be the most participatory national campaign in the country’s history, a new generation has learned the tools of campaigning, community organizing, political discourse, and civic debate. Their experiences ought now to be turned toward mobilizing others to insist on the changes they had hoped for and imagined. There is something stirring.Read the rest of Not an end, but a beginning.