Make Me!: Understanding and Engaging Student Resistance in School by Eric Toshalis [PDF]

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 ofUnderstanding 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.