20 Questions for Peggy McIntosh: Question 9
This week, in our series of 20 questions that SEED Founder Peggy McIntosh answered about SEED for the Wellesley Centers for Women's Research & Action Report, she talks about how teachers can create change even within the limitations of set curricula and booklists.
How can teachers change anything within today’s climate when they are being watched and blamed all the time?
It is possible to teach within a given curriculum and booklist and at the same time call attention to its assumptions and the framing of its versions of reality. It’s wonderful when teachers have the latitude to teach comparatively, comparing version X with version Y, and help students to ask questions about who wrote the versions and who is best served by the versions. This is the teaching of critical thinking, which schools purport to want but which is rarely fostered in the schools at this point in U.S. educational history. It is also possible to leaven the class work with poems, cartoons, art work, and videos that are not in the formal curriculum. It takes imagination.