In this groundbreaking book, Eric Toshalis explores student resistance through a variety of perspectives, arguing that oppositional behaviors can be not only instructive but productive. All too often treated as a matter of compliance, student resistance can also be understood as a form of engagement, as young people confront and negotiate new identities in the classroom environment. The focus of teachers' efforts, Toshalis says, should not be about "managing" adolescents but about learning how to read their behavior and respond to it in developmentally productive, culturally responsive, and democratically enriching ways. Noting that the research literature is scattered across fields, Toshalis draws on four domains of inquiry: theoretical, psychological, political, and pedagogical. The result is a resource that can help teachers address this pervasive classroom challenge in ways that enhance student agency, motivation, engagement, and academic achievement. The coauthor of Understanding Youth: Adolescent Development for Educators (Harvard Education Press, 2006), Toshalis blends accessible explanations of theory and research with vignettes of interactions among educators and students. In Make Me!, Toshalis helps teachers perceive possibility, rather than pathology, in student resistance.
"This text offers a thorough examination of issues related to students demonstrating challenging behaviors and resistance in today's school system... Educators, administrators, and ancillary personnel will find this text extremely insightful and, after reading it, will perhaps begin a reexamination of current professional dispositions and practices in working with students from diverse backgrounds." -- G. Moreno, Choice October 2015
" Make Me! challenges our views of student resistance and forces us to examine our responses toward it while promising that both teachers and students will be better off for the effort. As educators, we come away knowing that our mission is to change the culture of the school and the classroom, not to attempt to change the student." -- Stacie DeFreitas, Teachers College Record
" Make Me! deserves strong consideration by all parties concerned about the education of students from diverse communities...The compelling and thickly descriptive vignettes, coupled with poignant and skillfully related research and practical applications provide future and practicing educators with a strong case for viewing students' resistance as an opportunity to develop more conscientious and equity oriented classrooms." -- Matthew J. Moulton, Educational Studies
Table of Contents:
Why Examine Resistance? 1
UNDERSTANDING RESISTANCE THEORETICALLY
Vignette: Determined 17
"Making Trouble Makes It Worse"
Theories of Social Reproduction 19
"You're Not the Boss of Me"
Resistance Theory 41
UNDERSTANDING RESISTANCE PSYCHOLOGICALLY
Vignette: School Is Not His Thing 91
"This Should Be Different"
Cognition and Imagination at the Foundation of Resistance 63
"Why Should I Try?"
The Motivations That Drive Opposition 93
Vignette: Super Busy 121
"What? I Wasn't Listening"
The Passive No of Disengagement 123
Vignette: I'm Done 147
"That's Not Fair!"
Why Indignation Is Better Than Resignation 149
UNDERSTANDING RESISTANCE POLITICALLY
Vignette: Sick of It 173
"I'm Not Skipping Class--You Are"
Socioeconomic Reasons for Resisting School 175
Vignette: It's Not About the Pencil 201
"You Don't Even Know Me"
Identity and Opposition in the Classroom 203
Vignette: Be Respectful 221
"Don't Make Me Assimilate"
Authenticity, Resistance, and Racism 223
UNDERSTANDING RESISTANCE PEDAGOGICALLY
Vignette: Back Off! 251
"How Was I Supposed to Know?"
Misreading Students' Relational Needs 253
Vignette: Panther Points 275
"Is It My Fault?"
How We Provoke Resistance in the Classroom 277
Resistance Is Hope 299
About the Author 345
About the Author:
Eric Toshalis received his Bachelor of Arts, Teaching Credential, and Master of Education degrees from the University of California, Santa Barbara; a Master of Theological Studies degree from Harvard Divinity School; and a Doctorate in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is the coauthor, with Michael J. Nakkula, of Understanding Youth: Adolescent Development for Educators (Harvard Education Press, 2006) and its companion Website, Understanding-Youth.com. He is on the faculty of the Teacher Education Department in the Graduate School of Education and Counseling at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, where he directs the Summer Middle Level/ High School M.A.T Program and teaches courses in adolescent development and classroom management.
For over two decades, Eric has served public education in a variety of roles, including middle and high school teacher, coach, mentor teacher, union president, community activist, teacher educator, curriculum developer, researcher, author, professor, and consultant. His primary focus has been to study and practice what it takes to ensure that students flourish in school, particularly those students who are often marginalized by mainstream practices and contexts. He received the Human Relations Award by Santa Barbara County for his antiracist efforts at his middle school, was recognized as Teacher of the Year by his school district, and was awarded the Certificate of Distinction in Teaching by Harvard College. He consults with educators, nonprofits, and after-school professionals across the country. For more information, please visit EngagingResistance.com.