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ERIC Number: EJ1169736
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 15
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: EISSN-1947-5578
Living in the Gutter: Conflict and Contradiction in the Neoliberal Classroom--A Call to Action
Ayers, Rick; Ayers, Bill
Berkeley Review of Education, v2 n1 p95-108 Jan 2011
Beyond a sewer or a ditch, the "gutter" is that narrow blank space between panels in every comic book or graphic novel. Seeming to say nothing at all, that thin white strip is where most of the magic actually happens. The gutter brings the art to life as sequential, and is the central site of tension and conflict, interpretation, imagination, and meaning making. The authors write that they often feel these days that they are living inside a comic book and so they write this opinion paper from the margin, the cut, the gutter. They assert that the evidence of terminal rot at the center is everywhere, and the accompanying collapse is all around us: a scandalous financial emergency and an economic sink hole based on deep structural problems; rampant and disgraceful political corruption; the relentless search for profits turning the earth into a sewer and creating an environmental crisis that cannot and will not be ignored; demographic changes caused by globalization and immigration leading to the disappearance of European American majorities everywhere; the stalemate and impending defeat of Western military forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the entire region; and the various challenges to U.S. hegemony and triumphalism from all points of the compass including North and South Asia, Latin America, a tentatively united Europe, and oddly jerry-rigged entities such as the Brazil, Russia, India, China (BRIC) alliance. According to these authors, this is the gutter we have inherited. This historic moment could surely be violent and horrifying, or it could be filled with new hope and possibilities. That is, in part, up to us, to how we think and what we do. In education, the notion of 21st century learners should mean the promotion of creative and empowering pedagogies, not just narrow technology-based job training. This new reality challenges us to reconsider every assumption and to reexamine first and fundamental principles as we forge an educational project for today.
Berkeley Graduate School of Education, University of California, 5648 Tolman Hall, Berkeley, CA 94702. Tel: 510-328-3701; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A