International News

Oct 2, 2008

Classroom Calypso - Giving Voice to the Voiceless

Studies in the Postmodern Theory of Education
by Winthrop R. Holder

Classroom Calypso In this book, Winthrop R. Holder demonstrates how the music of resistance - calypso, rap, reggae, etc. - not only enlivens the urban classroom but transforms students into life-long independent thinkers/learners while valuing and giving voice to their indigenous knowledge. By releasing students formerly hidden/suppressed transcripts, even as they request "permission to mash up the place" (David Rudder), readers witness our youth as they venture on a literary pilgrimage to self-knowledge.

Secondly, by sampling critical/creative writings that he was able to get youth - who are normally written of as dysfunctional - to do over the last 20 years while teaching social studies in Brooklyn and the Bronx, New York, Classroom Calypso debunks the myth that urban students can't think and don't like to read and write. C L R James's construct that "every cook can govern" and VS Naipaul's notion that "even a hand can be dramatic" were employed to elicit creative and prolific writings while helping students empower themselves as change agents in the theatre of education. Additionally, the book demystifies the reading and writing process by suggesting that classes in the humanities operate best when classrooms are reconfigured into a (One Mic) space where each student, in Nas's words, "can spread [his/her] voice to the whole world" as they do in the book. Thus, by recasting liming, as a valued disposition, in the image of Plato's Symposium and the Canterbury Tales, Holder's book documents and exhibits how classrooms are energized and enlivened as critically engaged students explode the anti-intellectual myth that surrounds urban students/schools.

You see, we live in such a small world!
The head office for Mr. Holder's publishers, Peter Lang Ltd International Academic Publishers,
is in Pieterlen, Switzerland (Canton of Berne) and is only 68 miles away in Zurich.

This book can be purchased here:
Classroom Calypso - Giving Voice to the Voiceless

Related article:
Unleashing Grassroots Knowledge