July 11th Response (E)

Rebecca Rogers, Melissa Mosley, and Angela Folkes
Standing Up to Neoliberalism through Critical Literacy Education

The authors argue, “in order for teachers to design curricula that are responsive and engaging in taking up issues of class struggle and exploitation— issues that are at once local and global—innovative types of professional development, such as study circles, teacher inquiry, and teacher-activist groups, are necessary (127).” I agree with the authors because I do not feel comfortable putting these ideas to practice without interactive professional development that takes a workshop model, that involves creating instead of receiving, and that insures communication with experts and educators collaborating. The issues that they suggest we bring up are far too sensitive to do so without proper guidance, and that is why I think professional development is essential.
The authors say neoliberalism “is a set of economic and social policies and processes that work to expand the free market and eliminate government expansion of social programs (127).” This topic is something I’m not too familiar with. I am aware of the example given in the article of the No Child Left Behind Act; this helped me get a more solid picture of neoliberalism. I still feel as if I need to know more and was left with unanswered questions about neoliberalism. I do know social justice and equality are the center of the debate but I’m concerned that I do not fully understand the big picture aside from the focus on economic issues. I wonder how these real world issues in the community can be addressed in the classroom while still being kid friendly, age appropriate, and not too political?
This article made me think of role-playing, dramatization, and students engaging in various speaking and thinking roles. I enjoyed reading about students finding answers to their questions and solving problems using this type of curriculum design and I would be interested in learning more about involving social issues through reenactment of students. It would be great to see their reactions and their take/perceptions of the real events that affected members of their community.