Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Book Review - Tales Out of School
After 34 years in Toronto’s educational system, Linda Arbour has seen it all.
Reflecting on her experience as a student, teacher and administrator in the multi-racial, multi-ethnic, public secondary Catholic schools of Toronto, Ontario, she wrote a memoir.
In Tales Out of School, Arbour offers a critical examination of the culture that exists in many schools in Toronto and analyzes the unconscious as well as theoretical dimensions of this psychological and sociological agenda.
Focusing on these schools, Arbour insists they exist to transmit the counter-cultural values of Jesus to promote inclusion and a place where power is used to enhance the growth of staff and students alike. She also describes the cultural impasse she encountered while trying to realize these values.
Within the structure of the Catholic schools system, she discovered a morass of traditional male privilege, cronyism and a professional culture hostile to the flourishing of women and of teachers in general.
“I hope to challenge future teachers and administrators to gain a heightened awareness,” Arbour says. “I want them to address these concerns within the context of the gospel by imagining a culture that emphasizes the flourishing of everyone.”
Tales Out of School enthralls audiences with a unique and informative perspective on the overall issues facing Canada’s educational system.
About the Author
Linda Marie Arbour, MRE, Med, graduated from the University of Toronto. She spent thirty-four years as a teacher and administrator in the Catholic public secondary schools of Toronto. Now retired, she continues to live in Toronto.
My Take on the Book
This was a personal, intimate look into the prevailing culture that exists in many schools today. The book was honest and shared many of the concerns that I have heard from many teachers, and I know that it is not just a Canadian experience, but instead an overall K-12 education experience that exists today. The book provides a challenge for all current and future teachers to stay vigilant and to not forget the students that they are there to serve and educate. This was a powerful book, and I appreciated the experience and wisdom that the author shared!
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