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The Peaceable Classroom


The Peaceable Classroom Cover

ISBN13: 9780867093285
ISBN10: 0867093285
Condition: Student Owned
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Publisher Comments:

"Is it possible to teach English so that people stop killing each other?"

When a professor dropped this question into a colloquium for young college teachers in 1967, at the height of the Vietnam War, most people shuffled their feet. For Mary Rose O'Reilley, it was a question that would not go away; The Peaceable Classroom records one attempt to answer it. Out of her own experience, primarily as a college English teacher, she writes about certain moral connections between school and the outside world, making clear that the kind of environment created in the classroom determines a whole series of choices students make in the future, especially about issues of peace and justice.

Animated throughout by the spirit of the personal essayist, The Peaceable Classroom first defines a pedagogy of nonviolence and then analyzes certain contemporary approaches to rhetoric and literary studies in light of nonviolent theory. The pedagogy of Ken Macrorie, Peter Elbow, and the National Writing Project is examined. The author emphasizes that many techniques taken for granted in contemporary writing pedagogy — such as freewriting and journaling — are not just educational fads, but rather ways of shaping a different human being. "Finding voice," then, is not only an aspect of writing process, but a spiritual event as well. To find voice, and to mediate personal voice in a community of others, is one of the central dialectics of the peaceable classroom.

The author urges teachers to foster critical encounters with the intellectual and spiritual traditions of humankind and to reclaim the revolutionary power of literature to change things.


The Peaceable Classroom first defines a pedagogy of nonviolence and then analyzes certain contemporary approaches to rhetoric and literary studies in light of nonviolent theory.

About the Author

Mary Rose O'Reilley has taught English at St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minnesota since 1978. She has written for a wide range of academic, literary, religious, and social-change publications and is the author of The Peaceable Classroom (Boynton/Cook, 1993). Her most recent awards include a Bush Artists Fellowship, a Loft/Mentor grant in poetry, and the Sears Roebuck Foundation Award for Campus Leadership and Excellence in Teaching.

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Britton, August 8, 2010 (view all comments by Britton)
Almost every year, when back-to-school mania grips teachers around the country, several of us re-read Mary Rose O'Reilley's The Peaceable Classroom. And each year the circle of teachers I know who rely on her unique blend of humour, insight and balance grows. Read this if you want to improve your own teaching, certainly. But read it, too, if you just want to know more about learning -- your own and others.
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Product Details

O'Reilley, Mary
Heinemann Educational Books
Foreword by:
Elbow, Peter
Elbow, Peter
O'Reilley, Mary Rose
Portsmouth, NH :
Classroom management
English philology
English teachers
English teachers -- United States.
Classroom management -- United States.
General education.
Reference-Words Phrases and Language
Edition Description:
studies in light of nonviolent theory.
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
9 x 6 x 0.45 in 0.66 lb
Age Level:
from 5 up to 21

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Related Subjects

Education » Classroom Resources
Education » General
History and Social Science » Linguistics » Specific Languages and Groups
Reference » Words Phrases and Language

The Peaceable Classroom Used Trade Paper
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Product details 184 pages Boynton/Cook Publishers - English 9780867093285 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The Peaceable Classroom first defines a pedagogy of nonviolence and then analyzes certain contemporary approaches to rhetoric and literary studies in light of nonviolent theory.
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