23 April 2008

New Email Signature

Normally I just use my contact information for my email signatures. I have always thought that adding some pithy signature was either pretentious or preachy or polly-anna-ish.

Last month I actually added one - "Please consider the environmental affect of unnecessary printing." that seemed to be enough to say, to remind people that they do not have to print everything. Yesterday I changed my email signature to:

Inspire rebellion to promote defiance to achieve social justice.

The inspiration for this was a lunchtime webinar that Abelisto and I attended at the university where we work. The webinar was produced by Magna Online Seminars and The Teaching Professor. It was an interview with Michael Newman, author of Teaching Defiance: Stories and Strategies for Activist Educators. On page 10 Newman challenges us with a mission - "Our job is... to teach people how to make up their own minds, and how to take control of their moment. It is to teach choice. It is to help ourselves and others break free from our pasts, plan for the futures we want and resist the futures we do not want. Our job is to teach defiance."

There was an explanation of what teaching defiance is made up of, how one teaches it. There was also a good discussion of critical thinking and the fact that the idea of critical thinking has been domesticated.

I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Newman, we must make teaching defiance central to our work. The knowledge and skills we transfer to our students must be used in the name of defiance to create a more just and socially aware world. That is the path to salvation of the world and everyone in it.

Inspire rebellion to promote defiance to achieve social justice.
Amen brothers & sisters.

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