Change life! Change society! These precepts mean nothing without the production of an appropriate space…New social relationships call for a new space, and vice versa. —Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space This blog aims to be a resource for educators who desire to realize a new space within their very classrooms. The new educational space that…More

Catalyzing the Internal Click

This is a remarkable clip from an interview that Vicki Hearne did on NPR in 1986. The point she is making here about teaching is, I believe, crucial to an anarchist conception of education and, indeed, to any liberatory teaching practice worthy of the name. Vicki Hearne was an animal trainer. The phrase “internal click”…More

How to Love Your Students

Let’s create some contrast and tension at the outset and first say how not to love your students. Or, put otherwise, let’s say: How to Hate Your Students Hate: from Proto-Germanic hatis, to treat with hostility. That’s easy: lecture; grade; assign papers; offer the scantiest of feedback on assignments; break down the student’s “performance” into…More

The Perverse and the Generic

The Perverse Based on my personal observation, I think it’s generally fair to characterize the student-professor relationship in higher education as: perverted. I mean this in the sense of twisted, contorted, abnormal, corrupted. Picture an image in a hall of mirrors. That grotesque figure captures that of the generic person mutated into the institutional role-player.…More

Utopia and Hope

Despite the brutalist Soviet-era images it evokes, the term “concrete utopia” has nothing to do with architecture. Rather, it names an organizational process. It makes an intentional play on the term from which “concrete” the Latin concrescere, “to grow together,” originates. As the standard connotation of concrete as solid, actual, real indicates, concrete utopia signifies…More

Simone Weil: Attention as Generosity

Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity. Simone Weil (1909-1943; pronounced vay) was an extraordinary person. If you do not know her life story, I highly recommend watching Julia Haslett’s moving and deeply personal movie, “An Encounter with Simone Weil” (at the bottom of this post). The movie opens with the filmmaker channelling…More

Judith Suissa: Anarchism and Education

My decision to go public as an anarchist educator was catalyzed by reading Judith Suissa’s book Anarchism and Education: A Philosophical Perspective in 2006. Reading this book made me realize to what a profound extent I had been formed at the anarchist free school I attended as a young man. Page after page, the book…More