When Students Have Power: Negotiating Authority in a Critical Pedagogy

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What happens when teachers share power with students? In this text, Ira Shor - one of the earliest proponents of critical pedagogy in the United States - relates the story of an experiment that nearly went out of control. Shor provides the reader with a reenactment of one semester that shows what really can happen when one applies the theory and democratizes the classroom. This is the story of one class in which the author tried to fully share with his students control of the curriculum and of the classroom. After twenty years of practicing critical teaching, he unexpectedly found himself faced with a student uprising that threatened the very possibility of learning. How Shor resolves these problems, while remaining true to his commitment to power-sharing and radical pedagogy, is the crux of the book.