vmn
           
Museum of Education
Information
Exhibitions
Programs
News
Publications
College of Education
Links
 

The Bill Ayers Problem

The Museum of Education patrons’ reflective statements describing their “personal reconciliations” with “the Bill Ayers Problem.”

   
       
         

"I am inspired by the writings of Bill Ayers. He has done much good for the field of education and for those individuals who wish to become teachers; however, I am troubled by his past . . . ." a faculty member from the University of South Carolina; for the entire statement

   

Bill Ayers’ research and writing on teaching is among the most inspirational that I have encountered, especially his books titled The Good Preschool Teacher: Six Teachers Reflect on Their Lives (1989)and To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher (1993) . . . ." a faculty member from the University of South Carolina; for the entire statement


visit a related event: the December 08 So their voices will never be forgotten program

 
 

"When I began teaching, I thought about the kind of text that would benefit the pre-service educators who would be sitting in my class. The most important text, I felt, was Bill Ayers’s To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher . . . ." a graduate student from the University of South Carolina; for the entire statement

"The first time I ever heard of William Ayers was when I read the book Teaching toward Freedom: Moral Commitment and Ethical Action in the Classroom, and I was touched by the beauty of his ideas and his prose. Eager to learn more about the man who captured what I thought was the essence of teaching, I picked up his memoir Fugitive Days from the local library, and suddenly I was swept away in a different kind of world, a conflicted and chaotic world of violence from all sides—not just on his part . . . ." a graduate student from the University of South Carolina; for the entire statement  
       
    "I had second thoughts when I was asked to read a chapter by Bill Ayers in my graduate education class. I struggled with his past but not with his educational ideas and beliefs . . . ." a graduate student from the University of South Carolina; for the entire statement
       

"I may be very much in the minority when I say this, but I believe that it is not necessary to reconcile 'Bill Ayers the educator' and 'Bill Ayers the radical anti-war activist' at all.  Ayers’ passion and activism in his past are strong evidence of his commitment to developing democracy through education today . . . ." an undergraduate student from the University of South Carolina; for the entire statement  


 


The Real Bill Ayers
New York Times, Dec. 6, 2008
for the entire statement

"Recently, information has appeared in the press and been sent out by various political organizations concerning Dr. William Ayers, a Distinguished Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who also has a controversial political background. We have received some questions and comments from alumni and other members of the community about his interaction with our University."
the President of the University of South Carolina; for the entire statement



   

    "My friend, Bill, dwells in the in-between. That liminal space of complex grays; the difficult expanse of both/and. It aint’ easy and sometimes it wounds those seeking solace in simple explanations . . . ." a graduate student from the University of South Carolina; for the entire statement

"Outside the academic world, the name Bill Ayers holds notoriety for certain antiwar activities during the Vietnam Era that are considered by many to have been revolutionary. Some would even consider him to be a violent criminal. In fact, upon discovering that his memoir To Teach had been assigned to our EDFN 749 class this past fall, a coworker of mine described him as an “anti-American terrorist who publicly rejoiced to the media after the attacks of 9/11 . . . .” a graduate student from the University of South Carolina; for the entire statement  

"While I still don’t like constructing commentary on The Bill Ayers Problem, I welcome the opportunity to reflect on students refusing to read his work as a revolutionary and progressive educator within the broader context of continuing corporate nationalism, class disparity, and racism in the United States and throughout the World . . . ." a faculty member from the University of South Carolina; for the entire statement  
 
 
 
     
             
coe_image  
 
Return to Top Museum of Education Home Exhibitions Programs News Publications College of Education Links Contact
   
 

an affiliate of McKissick Museum, a financially-supported research unit of the College of Education,
and an institutional member of the International Coalition of Historic Site Museums of Conscience

Museum of Education - Wardlaw Hall - University of South Carolina - Columbia, SC 29208 - 803.777.5741
museumofeducation@sc.edu