Formerly, to be a radical teacher one had to be a Marxist, but in the past three years, a simple commitment to honesty, empathy, and democratic community has become an act of resistance. Examining three examples of reader-response criticism suggests how one can apply these values to deepen receptivity to literature and create a sense of agency and dialogue between students and teachers.
Reader Response Joins the Resistance
Martin Bickman is professor of English and President’s Teaching Scholar at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he teaches courses pedagogy and American literature. His book Minding American Education: Reclaiming the Tradition of Active Learning (2003) won the Outstanding Book Award from the American Education Research Association. He has also edited the collections Approaches to Teaching Melville’s “Moby-Dick” (1985) and Uncommon Learning: Thoreau on Education (1999) and authored American Romantic Psychology (1980) and Walden: Volatile Truths (1992). His article “Returning to Community and Praxis: A Circuitous Journey through Literary Studies and Pedagogy” appeared in the tenth anniversary volume of Pedagogy.
Martin Bickman; Reader Response Joins the Resistance. Pedagogy 1 April 2020; 20 (2): 235–256. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/15314200-8091852
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