Saturday, August 18, 2007

Advice to academic squatters

Many teachers in North America and around the world are considering academic squatting and are contacting Activist Teacher for advice and solidarity. Here’s the advice.

Do it! Stop grading and squat. Anarchism works. It’s not about alternative schools. It’s about taking charge of your life to transform society. Change necessitates confrontation.

Can you do it within a logical/legal framework of system legitimacy? Or are you prepared to risk the lot for sanity’s sake?

It’s not about educating with information.

Critical pedagogy is not about the message. All that info about war, economics, etc. is just a MASSAGE for those who think rather than do, if it's not accompanied by action that involves confrontation and personal risk.

Critical pedagogy is praxis. Its practitioners need to be fighting oppression, not just becoming "informed" about it. And the battle needs to be local and against one's own oppression rather than transferred in order to avoid immediate risk. The backlash is what informs you and your resistance is what builds you. What is your oppression?

Take the plunge. Don’t do it halfway or gradually. Others will join you.

Student’s version: Practice academic hijacking.


Anonymous said...

First of all- in regards to your 'radical' pedegogy- you still write in a very elitst manner and utlize citations from hundreds of eltist academic jounrals and sources 'we' the working class an poor dont have acces too.
Also for those who attended your classes- many critique that it was a radical activist course- in words only.
The activist community and ottawa- at least a dozen persons I have spoken to feel like your preaching to the choir on your stances on climate change- but you simply dont deny that it is a social reality (look at the IPCC- findings and a shit load of books) to know that climate change is having devastating consequences.
Post modernism (which is critical towards essentail categories and science and so..) tells us to realise most 'facts' are social constructs- but that doesnt mean that social constructs arent real or dont have consequences.
Yes- we all know we have to overthrow the state and rid the world of capitalism to trully adress global ecological collapse
But your stance- you use merely to seem controverisal may be a good tactic (to get attention- which we all know you love in Ottawa) but it runs the risk of actually, playing into the hands of those who deny their is a problem- i.e pro-corporate environmental eco-holcaust deniers-
The article you present is boring and throw in a few rad speakers and academics who you selectively use bits and pieces to present your view.

Anarchists just dont buy your crap.

Anonymous said...

also you should read
carbon trding a critical converstion on climate change privitisation and power.
development dialogue
larry lohmann

Anonymous said...

Academic squatting may be important. But I think blogging--well-organized, empirical, data-based, as your best material is--also has an impact. Your writing contra-"globalwarming" should be read by progressives, indeed by all (not that's it's likely to have much impact on rightist morons or theists).

Gore is another of these corporate liberal frauds who swindled the authentic greens and authentic scientists (we don't need PhDs in atmospheric physics to recognize the Gorean BS). The American bourgeois fell for it, big time: forgetting that Gore, dixie boy at heart, was pro-nuke, pro-corporation, pro-war, like his pal Lieberman. And he was anti-union, anti-green, at least in late 80s and early 90s. He was a hawk during the 2000 campaigns. Yet Gore is taken to be some sort of progressive, still. Hell, even some of the libertarian "freeper" sorts have more green cred.

Here's one of these new-school pseudo-greens:

Might as well give the Nobel to like Bill Gates.

Anonymous said...

I am a student. From my point of view, you are engaging in the worst type of elitst behavior: protecting your position at all costs.

Consider this: for you to become a professor, you had to prove your academic worth - understanding a subject very well. Yet in my pursuit to understand physics so I can enjoy similar opportunity to teach - you offer no help. In fact, you hinder my progress to the extent that I cannot advance my knowledge of physics.

Thus by 'squatting' on my time, you are directly repressing me. You are withholding your knowledge and understanding of science.

Now I ask you to look at the hypocrisy of your actions, and to state clearly: STOP. You are hurting your own cause so severely by your intoxication of your students' time and willingness to eliminate intellectual hurdles (e.g. proving their knowledge and receiving recognition of such achievement - good grades).

Teach me physics, or get out of my way. I can't join the ranks of academia if you continue protecting your position at all costs - mine.