radical teacher #71

Every time I visit a newsstand in Seattle, it seems like I find five new-to-me publications I HAVE to read. Last night was no exception; while at the Bulldog News in the U District I picked up Radical Teacher, a triennial “socialist, feminist, and anti-racist” teaching journal put out by the nonprofit Cambridge, MA Center for Critical Education.

Strange as it may be that teachers are not naturally feminist and anti-racist, and despite their usual political alignment with the Democratic party, the profession tends to be pretty conservative. So Radical Teacher was a refreshing read. #71 is a book review issue, which includes reviews of a wide range of reading from histories of teacher strikes to analyses of the longstanding rift between literature and composition faculties in university English departments. The reviews were good reviews, too: smart but down to earth, clear but still complex, informative in and of themselves and still making me want to go out and read the books reviewed.

Often when I read a so-called “radical” journal I end up either feeling like I am not “radical” enough or irritated at how impractically “radical” the writers are, but the tone of the whole thing was a refreshing combination of radical and practical, just like good teaching should be. So I decided to subscribe, and wouldn’t you know, they offer a discount for part-timers like myself. It’s nice to see radical writers going beyond talk into action and being radical businesspeople as well. So I perused the clearance sale of back issues, ordered a few that looked promising, and made a pledge to myself to become a “sustaining” subscriber as soon as that full-time position comes through.

-angie kritenbrink
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