The 10-year Subversive, Metaphysical, And Sometimes Controversial History of Teaching a Book Called Push
What makes one particular book work for adult, non-traditional, Community College students? The novel Pushs by the African-American author Sapphire has engaged my students since 1997. Over a 10-year period, this novel has evolved into a spoke for social change; both within the classroom and the community. The text, (whose landscape is an alternative classroom for illiterate, homeless, and or sexually abused young women of color) has served as a model for moving away from a traditional classroom based on what Brazilian author Paulo Friere calls "The Banking Concept" of education, and more towards a classroom where teacher and students come together in a shared community, to solve a problem significant to that community. (As the classroom does in Push.) Now in my 10th year of teaching this book, this text which has started its "classroom life" as an outsider, has now become a respectable and even "wise elder" among my other texts. How such a book went through various outsider and controversial "life stages" to reach this eminent position, will be examined in this presentation and paper.
Keywords: Push, Novel, Social Change, Pedagogy
Assistant Professor of Humanities, Humanities, Capital Community College