We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom

We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom

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Drawing on personal stories, research, and historical events, an esteemed educator offers a vision of educational justice inspired by the rebellious spirit and methods of abolitionists.

Drawing on her life's work of teaching and researching in urban schools, Bettina Love persuasively argues that educators must teach students about racial violence, oppression, and how to make sustainable change in their communities through radical civic initiatives and movements. She argues that the US educational system is maintained by and profits from the suffering of children of color. Instead of trying to repair a flawed system, educational reformers offer survival tactics in the forms of test-taking skills, acronyms, grit labs, and character education, which Love calls the educational survival complex.

To dismantle the educational survival complex and to achieve educational freedom--not merely reform--teachers, parents, and community leaders must approach education with the imagination, determination, boldness, and urgency of an abolitionist. Following in the tradition of activists like Ella Baker, Bayard Rustin, and Fannie Lou Hamer, We Want to Do More Than Survive introduces an alternative to traditional modes of educational reform and expands our ideas of civic engagement and intersectional justice.

Title:We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780807069158
Format Type:

    We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom Reviews

  • Emily

    Some books you read fast because you can't take in information fast enough. This book is one you read slow because every morsel of information is big and powerful and makes you think.All educators sho...

  • Elizabeth Langa

    Every educator should read this book. Period. ...

  • Jenell

    This one goes in the “Required Texts” section of my Autumn 2019 syllabus. ...

  • Zachari Curtis

    "See me after class."While I'm in no position to actually call the author in, there were several times while I was reading where I wanted to highlight the paradoxes she seemed to be creating by collap...

  • Maya McKenzie

    Should be MANDATORY reading for all educators...

  • Lori

    I wanted to like this book. We need more discussion about the systemic ways in which the various intersecting systems of American life contribute to poverty and oppression of POC, driven by racism roo...

  • Kurt

    I sponged up every word in MORE THAN SURVIVE; it spoke deeply and directly to the kind of teacher I try to be, to the kind of teaching I believe in. Love's antiracist analysis struck every right chord...

  • Dawn

    THIS BOOK!! Bringing the spirit and work of abolitionists to education! Education in the pursuit of liberation! YOU. MUST. READ!...

  • Kimberley

    "Abolitionist Teaching" is what Bettina Love says we need more of in our schools and, as a mother, I couldn't agree more with her analysis: Racism is not exclusive to one political party or a particul...

  • Becky R.

    As a white teacher in a very white school, I've desperately been seeking ways to challenge my own bias, my own culturally taught racism, my own bigotry. This is a systemic problem, and it had to start...