We Want To Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom

Beacon. Feb. 2019. 200p. notes. index. ISBN 9780807069158. $24.95. ED
Following the wave of teachers' strikes in 2018, there has been renewed public appetite for critical discussions of schooling. This is a refreshing development, argues Love (Coll. of Education, Univ. of Georgia), since the discourse around U.S. education reform is often twisted to serve the needs of what the author calls the "educational survival complex"—ultrawealthy philanthropists and their corporate backers who peddle quick-fix solutions such as high-stakes testing or charter schools. Rather than tinkering around the edges of the system in order to ensure the mere survival of children from marginalized communities, Love shows instead how schools can encourage these students to thrive. Unless teachers commit to interrogating and finally shedding their white privilege, she argues, public education will continue to devalue black students and consign them to lives of second-class citizenship. Love could have benefited from firmer editorial control—single sentences routinely stretch on for a hundred words or more. Moreover, she never adequately demonstrates how a critical mass of teachers, already underpaid and overwhelmed, could undertake the community organizing necessary for reform. Still, this text is helpful for gaining a better grasp of oppression and what teachers can do about it.
VERDICT Recommended for academic libraries serving preservice teachers.
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