Tuesday, June 10, 2008


After reading the conclusion to Script, Counterscipt, and Underlife in the Classroom: James Brown versus Brown v. Board of Education, I felt tense and rebellious. I decided to take an English angle and do a close reading analysis of the diction.

The Third Space is defined as... "a space of regulated confrontation". With this notion the authors argue that students will be effective learners and participants of learning in the following manner (Pg.467-469).

  1. rewrite
  2. contest (x2)
  3. redefine (x2)
  4. separate
  5. different
  6. disruptive (x5)
  7. restructuring
  8. struggle
  9. depart
  10. challenge
  11. reconceptualizing
  12. reform
  13. abandonment
  14. relinquish
  15. rupture
  16. exposed

It seems that the recommendation of creating a Third Space is overly aggressive. Is it really necessary that students are always participating in a "space of regulated confrontation". I feel like this is advocating for unnecessary aggression. Educated debates and socratic seminars are incredible tools for stimulating discussion... but is combative communication really essential in student participation? Isn't it alright to agree sometimes?


Dougyfresh04 said...


You bring up an interesting point that I really did not consider in this reading. I think that within a third space their is still ample room for consensus or agreement with in that space. I feel what these authors are advocating is a struggle against the norm of schooling or other institutions and subjects discussed in class. they are trying to make an effort to create this discussive space to tackle all aspects of an issue, within that space agreement can still occur.

Jason Lustig said...

I love what you did! I think you're right, look at critical literacy too, its built around the idea that everything is unjust and we should triumph over oppression. Now that may be true for some people in some instances, but I don't think an entire educational system should be built around confrontation.

However, I think third space CAN be a space where there is a union of ideas, approaches, concepts and understandings that allow for both the students and teachers to grow. And I think critical literacy CAN help us add an extra dimension of understanding to text we are reading and add a personal stake to what is being learned, but it CAN go too far.

Heather said...

Excellent point, Kelly. Much like medical language (fight disease, battle cancer, etc.) it is all too easy to focus on aggressive context or "war language."

My first impression of third space (at least what I wanted it to be) was one of safety and sharing. Yet, something did not hit me right about it. I think you managed to articulate it.

Though I am certainly not the type to "think positive" to the point of pathology, it is important that discourse also be a creative (as in "create"), generative space. Some type of congress is always critical. Otherwise, how is it any different from a bitch session?