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ERIC Number: ED002081
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1965-Jan
Pages: 1
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
EDUCATION WITHOUT SCHOOLS IN THE SOUTH.
ZINN, HOWARD
FOR 8 WEEKS IN THE SUMMER OF 1964, MORE THAN 2,000 NEGRO YOUNGSTERS, AVERAGING 15 YEARS OF AGE BUT RANGING FROM 6 TO 26 AND OLDER, WENT TO FREEDOM SCHOOLS IN MISSISSIPPI. THE STUDENTS WERE TAUGHT BY TEACHERS WHO MET NO OFFICIAL QUALIFICATIONS. THEY ASSEMBLED IN CHURCH BASEMENTS OR ON THE STREETS. THEY CAME AND WENT WITHOUT ATTENDANCE RECORDS, GRADES, OR EXAMINATIONS. IT WAS AN EXPERIMENT THAT CANNOT BE ASSESSED IN TERMS OF "SUCCESS" OR "FAILURE" IN THE USUAL SENSE, BUT IT WAS A VENTURE WHICH DESERVES CLOSE ATTENTION BY ALL AMERICANS INTERESTED IN THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN EDUCATION AND SOCIAL CHANGE. BECAUSE THERE WERE NO ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS, NO EFFORT WAS MADE TO TEACH AN ORGANIZED OUTLINE OF NEGRO HISTORY OR AMERICAN GOVERNMENT. EACH DAY'S ACTIVITIES VARIED. ROLE PLAYING WAS USED TO PRESENT BARRY GOLDWATER'S STAND ON THE CIVIL RIGHTS BILL AND THE VIEW OF THOSE WHO OPPOSED HIS POSITION. OFTEN THE TEACHER WOULD BEGIN CLASS BY READING AN EDITORIAL ON SOMETHING THE GOVERNOR HAD SAID, AND DISCUSSION FOLLOWED FOR THE REST OF THE PERIOD. ONE TEACHER SPENT A WHOLE HOUR DISCUSSING THE WORD "SKEPTICAL" AND TELLING STUDENTS TO THINK FOR THEMSELVES, NOT TAKING THE TEACHER'S WORK FOR EVERYTHING. THE FREEDOM SCHOOLS PRESENT A CHALLENGE TO AMERICAN EDUCATION BY SUGGESTING THAT AN ENTIRE SCHOOL SYSTEM CAN BE CREATED IN A COMMUNITY OUTSIDE THE OFFICIAL ORDER. THE EXPERIMENT SHOWS HOW TEACHERS WERE SELECTED, NOT BY ANY MECHANICAL SET OF REQUIREMENTS, BUT ON THE BASES OF GENERAL INTELLIGENCE, ENTHUSIASM, AND SOCIAL CONSCIENCE. THEY TAUGHT NOT FROM TEXTBOOKS, BUT FROM LIFE, TRYING TO LINK THE DAILY HEADLINES WITH THE BEST OF MAN'S INTELLECTUAL TRADITION. THIS ARTICLE WAS PUBLISHED IN "CURRENT", JANUARY 1965.
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: MISSISSIPPI; NEW MEDIA