This book is about disobedience. Positive disobedience. Disobedience as a kind of professional behaviour. It shows how teachers can survive and even influence an education system that does staggering damage to potential. More importantly it is an arm around the shoulder of disobedient teachers who transform people's lives, not by climbing promotion ladders but by operating at the grassroots.
Disobedient Teaching tells stories from the chalk face. Some are funny and some are heartbreaking, but they all happen in New Zealand schools.
This book says you can reform things in a system that has become obsessed with assessment and tick-box reporting. It shows how the essence of what makes a great teacher is the ability to change educational practices that have been shaped by anxiety, ritual and convention.
Disobedient Teaching argues the transformative power of teachers who think and act.
Welby Ings is a professor in design at Auckland University of Technology. He is an elected Fellow of the British Royal Society of Arts and a consultant to many international organisations on issues of creativity and learning. He is also an award-winning academic, designer, filmmaker and playwright. But until the age of 15 Welby could neither read nor write. He was considered 'slow' at school and he was eventually expelled. Later he was suspended from teachers' college.
Welby has taught at all levels of the New Zealand education system and remains an outspoken critic of the education system's 'obsession' with assessing performance. In 2001 he was awarded the Prime Minister's inaugural Supreme Award for Tertiary Teaching Excellence.
'Disobedient Teaching is incrediably readable, the style is compelling and forceful. It does not hold back on expressing the emotion of the author's personal experiences and committment: he is certainly a great storyteller.'
Helen Anderson, New Zealand Books, Spring 2017
'But actually, Disobedient Teaching does more than just inspire – although I think this is the book's strength – additionally it looks at the doing, providing tools for teachers' toolkits, and countless examples that teachers could adapt to their own practice … Ings clearly rates caring and passion highly when it comes to teaching and these traits shine through every chapter in some guise.'
Jude Barback, Education Review, June 2017
'Disobedient Teaching is a profoundly moving book. It speaks to the very heart of teaching practice: how and why we as teachers relate to others. It puts a spotlight on what we hope to achieve, and how we go about achieving it.'
Grant Reid, Education Aotearoa, 24 April 2017
'Book recommendation: Disobedient Teaching by Welby Ings. What a refreshing take on the measurement/data/labelling obsession!'
Chris Hipkins, MP for Rimutaka
Paperback, 230 x 155 mm, 208 pp, ISBN 978-1-927322-66-6, $35