Free School Teaching

A Journey into Radical Progressive Education

By Kristan Accles Morrison

Subjects: Foundations Of Education
Paperback : 9780791471487, 195 pages, June 2007
Hardcover : 9780791471470, 195 pages, June 2007

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Table of contents

1. Successful Student, Struggling Teacher
2. A Language for Self-Understanding
3. A New Vision
4. I Find a School
5. A Very Different Setup
6. A Very Different Curriculum
7. Very Different Students and Teachers
8. A Teacher Transformed
9. Reform or Revolution—Is There Hope for Change in Traditional Schools?

Chronicles the author’s personal and professional journey within the American educational system.


Free School Teaching is the personal and professional journey of one teacher within the American educational system. Faced with mounting frustrations in her own traditional, middle school classroom and having little success in resolving them, Kristan Accles Morrison decided to seek out answers, first by immersing herself in the academic literature of critical education theory and then by turning to the field. While the literature on progressive education gave her hope that things could be different and better for students locked into America's traditional education system, she wanted to find a firsthand example of how these ideas played out in practice. Morrison found a radical "free school" in Albany, New York, that embodied the ideas found in the literature, and over a period of three months she observed and documented differences between alternative and traditional schools. In trying to reconcile the gap between those systems, Morrison details the lessons she learned about teachers, students, curriculum, and the entire conception of why we educate our children.

Kristan Accles Morrison is Assistant Professor of Educational Foundations in the School of Teacher Education and Leadership at Radford University.


"The effects of standardized competitive schooling are severe and they need to be critically reported as publicly and as often as possible. The stories of democratic schools, such as the one profiled here, provide inspirational alternatives. This is a book with an important story to tell." — Ron Miller, author of Free School, Free People: Education and Democracy after the 1960s