How do we see our schools and the project of education? Is this the best we can do? What would we like our schools to become? How might we get there? In this provocative book, Bill Ayers invites us to dream of schools in which each child “is of infinite and incalculable value.” Blending personal anecdotes with critique of the state of education, this beautifully written little book is filled with big ideas that explore the challenges and opportunities for an education system that desperately needs repair. Teaching with Conscience in an Imperfect World is an urgent call to action and a plan to help educators, policymakers, and parents to stretch toward something new and dramatically better—schools that are more joyful and more just, more balanced and more guided by the power of love.
Bill Ayers is Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago (retired), and founder of both the Small Schools Workshop and the Center for Youth and Society, where he taught courses in interpretive and qualitative research, urban school change, and teaching and the modern predicament. A graduate of the University of Michigan, the Bank Street College of Education, Bennington College, and Teachers College, Columbia University, Ayers has written extensively about social justice, democracy and education, the cultural contexts of schooling, and teaching as an essentially intellectual, ethical, and political enterprise. He is currently the vice-president of the curriculum studies division of the American Educational Research Association.