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Cynthia Peters: Literacy for the Learner’s Sake

As a teacher in adult education, I always had to balance facilitating empowered learning in the classroom with delivering a product to funders. You go into the classroom with high ideals about developing student-centered curriculum, stressing critical thinking over rote recitation, and creating an environment that fosters empowerment and critical consciousness. But then the question Read more…

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Cynthia Peters: Veterans’ Voices

Written testimony "means that we no longer allow ourselves to be silenced or allow others to speak for our experience. Writing to heal, then, and making our writing public, as I see it, is the most important emotional, psychological, artistic, and political project of our time." — Louise De Salvo, PhD author, Writing as a Read more…

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Cynthia Peters: An Engaged Political Culture in Venezuela

At a little stand off an uneven road switchbacking its way up and down the Andean mountains, we stopped for a thick, syrupy sweet cafecito. It comes in a tiny, two-swallow sized cup, providing just the right hit of caffeine to keep us alert on the blind curves, which paradoxically are as numbingly repetitive as Read more…

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Cynthia Peters: Woody Guthrie to Judge Thayer: No Sweet Music

Readers of ZNet know how the "system" works, but who among us has not wanted to take certain individuals by the shoulders and force them to face the consequences of their actions. When I was a kid, we used to have a dog that would occasionally relieve himself right in front of the TV set. Read more…

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Cynthia Peters: Snapshots from Unschooling Part 3 of

Part 1: “Snapshots from School” http://www.zmag.org/sustainers/content/2006-12/12peters.cfm Part 2: “Unenrolling My Daughter from School” http://www.zmag.org/sustainers/content/2007-02/09peters.cfm When Zoe quit school in ninth grade, one of the saddest things to me was the response of the kids she left behind. Some assumed she was pregnant or in rehab. One got angry with her for “throwing her life away.” Read more…

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Cynthia Peters: Unenrolling My Daughter from School Or Choosing Not to “Get Used to It”, Part 2 of Snapshots from School

Read Part 1 first if you haven’t already: http://www.zmag.org/sustainers/content/2006-12/12peters.cfm Note: As I explained in my previous commentary (see “Snapshots from School”, http://www.zmag.org/sustainers/content/2006-12/12peters.cfm, December 12, 2006) our family’s relationship to schooling is unusual. Both our kids have homeschooled – in a mostly unschooling fashion – for most of their lives. Our shock at what we saw Read more…

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Cynthia Peters: Snapshots from School

“Don?t go to the Parent-Teacher Council meeting,” advised my daughter, who is a 9th-grader at a large urban high school. “They’ll only try to scare you.” I shouldn’t have been too surprised at how accurately she summed up at least one salient aspect of the culture at her school. After two days at the orientation Read more…

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Cynthia Peters: Unity Meeting, Boston, Mass.

The organizations represented at an anti-war “Unity Meeting,” held at the 1199SEIU union hall on July 6, 2006, seemed to capture all the hopefulness, dedication, and hard work that is best about progressive movements today. The meeting was an attempt to pull the many fragments of our movement together into something resembling…well, unity. The Unity Read more…

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Cynthia Peters: The Corporate Parent

When I gave birth to my first daughter, I was in a hospital. Contraction-inducing pitocin was dripping into my veins, and I was hooked up to a monitor, featuring a jagged line graph which represented the force of each contraction. During heavy contractions, the jagged line spiked up towards the top of the screen and Read more…

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Cynthia Peters: Gonna Use My Imagination

Today’s Boston Globe (April 22, 2006), reports that Massachusetts is giving $1 million to a faith-based organization to teach abstinence in the schools. The same school kids, meanwhile, are subjected to multi-million dollar ad campaigns that positively scream at them about sex, presenting mostly passive sex objects whose cleavages, crotches, and botox-injected lips reduce sex Read more…

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