I read this book because Cindy Ingram, who operates as The Art Class Curator, has set up a discussion of it on Zoom. Cindy was invited to speak to our museum docent group a couple of years ago about how to engage students with works of art. I have followed her ever since.
Even if you aren’t a teacher, this is a good read. Education, we say, is fundamental, and we wring our hands (at least in Texas we do) over the failure of our public schools. Emdin gives us some perspective about the disconnect between the institution that is “school” and the community. Think about it: the teacher comes into school full of concerns about student behavior and disinterest and makes quick judgments about who is teachable and who is not. Acting “white” (compliant, and suppressing one’s true self) is rewarded. Emdin walks through his own experience: failures, lessons learned, successes. He gives teachers suggestions to achieve their own successes in the classroom.
We all know about the schools which were set up to assimilate Native American children. These schools completely rejected their culture: language, dress, ceremonies, beliefs…to educate the “savages.” Well, now, says Emdin, doesn’t that go on in our schools? It makes you think.