Rod Bush and Radical Pedagogy
This essay authored by Daniel Douglas, titled “Rod Bush and Radical Pedagogy,” is a chapter in the anthology Rod Bush: Lessons from a Radical Black Scholar on Liberation, Love, and Justice, edited by Melanie E. L. Bush, and co-edited by Rose M. Brewer, Daniel Douglas, Loretta Chin, and Robert Newby (2019). The US system of higher education is fraught with contradictions, even as it has become accessible to an increasing share of high school graduates. Even though the possibility of politically engaged pedagogy in this institution is increasingly under threat, education remains a fundamentally vital space. In his work as a professor, Rod Bush exemplified the vital possibility for radically transformative higher education. This essay explores four theoretical premises of radical education—moral authority, shared interest, dialog, and risk—by juxtaposing these principles with examples of Rod Bush’s pedagogy. It concludes by suggesting that the lessons derived from Rod’s practical orientation— specifically his love for and commitment to his students—are of critical importance for sustaining radical pedagogical praxis.