I was reminiscing this weekend to the sound of Bad Religion when I realized that it was bands like them along with the Dead Kennedys and others that taught me what it was like to (literally) yell against injustice and corruption and plea for a better way.  As a teenager, punk rock provided me the impetus for not accepting the status quo, for pushing the envelope and for being fearless in the face of adversity and for going against the grain. 

In addition to the music there were self-published ‘zines,’ many of which contained articles written by students my age. The articles ranged from reviews of new albums to articles about corruption and political policies.  Of course, with the advent of the Internet, I’m sure many of these zines have fallen by the wayside.  I see a lot of similarity between these zines and the community of progressive educator bloggers on the scene right now.

As an adult, I still find power in many of the songs that had a huge affect on me as a teenager. Perhaps that’s why I choose to label myself an edupunk…..

For your enjoyment, here are two Bad Religion songs that still seem poignant to my adult life 15 years after I first discovered them.

Against the Grain

Change of Ideas

well the sheaves have all been brought,
but the fields have washed away
and the palaces now stand
where the coffins all were laid
and the times we see ahead
we must glaze with rosy hues
for we don’t wish to admit
what it is we have to lose

millennia in coming
the modern age is here
it sanctifies the future
yet renders us with fear
so many theories, so many prophecies
what we do need is a change of ideas
when we are scared
we can hide in our reveries
but what we need is a change of ideas
change of ideas, change of ideas
what we need now is a change of ideas


  1. Reply

    When I listen to bands like Propgandhi it reminds me why I am a teacher because I was exposed to radical ideas and the real history of Canada. Propgandhi gave me the tools to become a critical thinker. If it wasn't for punk rock, I wouldn't want to be a teacher.

    "feel obliged to whine and kick and scream, until everyone has everything they need" – Propagandhi

  2. Reply

    Great post! I agree that blogs have changed the way we spread opinion on various issues. I think there is something missing without the paper in my hand, but I like the idea of affecting change all over the world.

    I love the edupunk label. I was not a punk kid growing up, but I see where you are coming from. Great job and see you in January at educon,

    Nick P

  3. Andrew Saltz


    I really like your blog, but I'm a younger teacher and I don't have too much to add. But finally, I can contribute:

    Bad Religion is awesome.

    Keep it up.

  4. timgwynn


    I love the idea of underground education reform leaders needing to be more punk rock. You have definitely stirred something in me that was there, but now needs to be more in your face. When kids are at the heart of what we do, we can't let bad ideas be louder than ours as the status quo dominates. We need to stand up for what we know is best for kids and spread that message far. And just so you know, I'm totally ganking to the term edupunk!


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