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On not being Able to Play

Scholars, Musicians and the Crisis of the Psyche

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Marla Morris

Scholars and musicians from many different backgrounds will find this book helpful as it deals with psychic problems in both professions. This book might help scholars and musicians to find a way out of their psychic dilemmas. From classical musicians to rock stars, from curriculum theorists to music teachers, from anthropologists to philosophers, this book takes the reader through a rocky intellectual terrain to explore what happens when one can no longer play or work. The driving question of the book is this: What do you do when you cannot do what you were called to do? This is what the author calls The Crisis of Psyche. The theoretical framework for this book combines curriculum theory, psychoanalysis and phenomenology. Here, the author looks at issues of emotion and the working through of crisis points in the lives of both scholars and musicians. Psychoanalytic theory helps to flesh out and untangle what it means to suffer from a damaged musical psyche and a damaged scholarly psyche. How to work through psychic inertia as a scholar? How to work through through psychic inertia as a musician? From Pink Floyd to Laurie Anderson, from Marion Milner to William F. Pinar, this book draws on the work of a wide range of musicians and scholars to find a way out of psychic blocks. From Philip Glass to Pablo Casals, from Michael Eigen to Mary Aswell Doll, this book draws on the work of composers, cellists, psychoanalysts and educationists to find a way out of psychic meltdowns.

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Shirley Wade McLoughlin

With the increasingly techno-rational approach to education causing a sense of hopelessness among educators in both public schools and higher education institutions, alternative pedagogical approaches are needed to provide educators with the means to navigate through oppressive milieus. The author offers her conceptualization of a pedagogy of the blues as such an approach. This work is grounded in the powerful early blues of African Americans, identifying specific themes representative of the blues metaphor that reverberate in the work of early blues artists. Using a predominantly cultural studies lens, the author traces the emergence and evolution of the blues metaphor from pre-slavery Africa’s musical forms to the music of the slaves. She then closely examines the emergence of the blues as a form of popular music in the 1920s. analyzing popular culture representations of the blues artists, historical artifacts, recordings, lyrics of early blues, and other sources of data. From this material, certain themes emerge and are identified as part of the blues metaphor. These themes and their evolution are traced through other forms of popular music, including jazz, country, rhythm and blues, rock, folk, and rap. The author then uses these powerful themes to mold a conceptualization of a pedagogy of the blues, a pedagogical approach that allows educators to hope, to resist, and to transcend the oppressive environments that exist in today’s educational settings.

Seeing With Poetic Eyes

Critical Race Theory and Moving from Liberal to Critical Forms of Race Research in Sociology of Education

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Benjamin Blaisdell

“Seeing with poetic eyes” is a phrase used by a teacher to describe one of his students, a teenager who could recognize the disconnect between U. S. society’s claims about racial equity and its actual commitment towards that equity. As a teacher, he saw it as his mission to help all of his students see the world in such a critical way with that hope that they would be motivated to pursue antiracism more actively in their lives. In this book, I discuss how critical race theory (CRT) can motivate research on race in sociology of education in a similar way. Specifically, I describe how CRT helped me work with seven white teachers on developing more critical understandings of race. In my ethnographic interviews with these teachers, the analytical tools of CRT gave me a way to openly dialogue with them about issues of race in education. I was able to not only learn from the teachers but also work with them on developing racial awareness. Instead of relying on more liberal forms of sociological research—where the researcher extracts data from participants—CRT helped me promote a more critical approach, one where the researcher and participants work together to actively pursue antiracism in the research act itself. So “seeing with poetic eyes” refers the way that I have come to view research as a means of antiracism. Similarly, I propose that CRT can promote such a critical approach to research on race in the field of sociology of education.

We've Scene it All Before

Using Film Clips in Diversity Awareness Training

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Brian C. Johnson

A revolutionary tool for corporate and academic trainers, We’ve Scene It All Before harnesses the power of mainstream Hollywood film to enhance educational sessions about diversity and social justice. This resource manual offers practical guidance on how to effectively use the concept of difference as a starting point towards true inclusion.
Seasoned and novice trainers will appreciate the suggested strategies and best practices on facilitating diversity dialogues, which are coupled with a set of twenty-five definitions that introduce and raise awareness of the personal and systemic nature of difference, discrimination, and power. Workshops on human relations and workplace diversity must move beyond the superficial “celebration” of diversity to the dismantling of systems of privilege and oppression that create environments where members of the organization are disenfranchised and disempowered.
Using clips from a variety of genres of mainstream film allows the trainer to make intercultural concepts visible and offers a way for us to challenge our own values and assumptions. Participants will enjoy the presentations more as they view some of their favorite films in a whole new way; using this familiar medium creates a common basis for entering the discussions all the while giving us the permission to talk about serious and often controversial subjects.
We’ve Scene It All Before: Using Film Clips in Diversity Awareness Training is a learning tool which will be tremendously useful in reducing resistance and increasing thoughtful cross-cultural dialogue.

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Rita Verma

This book presents yet another compelling argument about the lives and struggles of new immigrant youth in public schools and demands the attention of educators, policy- makers and academics. In the post September 11th political, economic and social climate there are silenced and forgotten young immigrants in our schools. Racist nativism, Islamophobia and hegemonic discourse have in many ways legitimized the false information and emerging stereotypes that are disseminated by popular culture and the media. From the perspective of working class Sikh youth, who have unduly borne the brunt of such hostility and racial profiling, we learn about their daily lives both in their communities and schools. The youth engaged in identity politics and occupied contradictory hybrid spaces of being neither here nor there. Attempts to transplant religious identities led to personal battles of self definition and transformation. In contrast to the available literature on the Asian American “model minority”, Verma explores the working class experience of South Asian families who face downward economic mobility, limited opportunities, low academic achievement, racism and marginalization from both their communities and the mainstream public. Hidden under the umbrella of the model minority stereotype, the needs of working class South Asian youth are largely compromised as their engagement from school plummets. In the midst of shifting politics of belonging, citizenship and nation-building, the reader is drawn to listen to the personal stories, hopes and dreams of youth who face uncertain realities and doubts about the grandeur of the “American dream”.

Citizenship Education

The British Muslim Perspective

Nader Al-Refai and Christopher Adam Bagley

This important book draws together and integrates several strands in educational policy. It offers a perspective on the role of Britain’s increasing Muslim population, and the need for Citizenship Education for all school pupils which can allow young Muslims to integrate in ways which meet their legitimate needs for expression of religious values, and which fosters tolerance in both Muslim pupils and in their peers, as well as responsible participation in the wider democracy.
The book explains clearly the meaning of education and citizenship in Islam, and argues that the practice of Islam encourages its adherents both to tolerate other religions, and the societies in which Islamic minorities have settled. In this account, there is no logic, morality or theological support for violent acts against the state. However, increasing Islamophobia, misdirected against Muslim youth in Britain, has forced a reappraisal of identity. This combined with increasing dissatisfaction of Muslim parents on the failure of mainstream schools to tolerate the religious aspirations of their children, has led to the setting up of a number of Muslim schools in Britain.
Recent government actions to introduce Citizenship Education in all schools as a means of fostering tolerance and countering political apathy are evaluated in a study of five “best practice” Muslim schools, and five similar schools serving a wider religious population. Results show the general success of Citizenship Education in the Muslim schools studied, and support the argument that Islamic education can support Citizenship Education in socially productive ways.
While focussed on Britain, this book is an important comparative study of education, sociology and social policy, and deserves to be read by trainee teachers, undergraduates, and policy makers in the fields of education and social planning.

Confronting Intolerance

Critical, Responsive Literacy Instruction with Adult Immigrants

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Stephen G. Mogge

Confronting Intolerance: Critical, Responsive Literacy Instruction with Adult Immigrants captures the experience of adult immigrants who are improving their English literacy while confronting an intolerant political culture. It examines recent immigration policy and the anti-immigrant fervor that has gripped the United States and describes the perseverance and struggles of immigrant students to pursue their goals through literacy education.
The book offers a powerful and vivid example of critical pedagogy blended with sociocultural perspectives of literacy education in an effort to raise student consciousness and alter the political culture. Confronting Intolerances is an ethnographic, teacher research narrative that describes a year in the life of the author’s classroom with adult Latino immigrants, mostly Mexican, in a Chicago, Illinois (USA) settlement house.
Specific focus is given to immigrant students’ response to reading material that was selected to meet individual ambitions but was also selected to meet the concerns and anxieties that surfaced in response to the intolerant climate. The book describes students’ engagement with narrative and informational reading and displays the students’ evolving perspectives on politics, economics, culture, and race as these relate to Latino immigrants in the United States.
Through extensive classroom dialogue and descriptions of students engaged in political activities, the book explores the students’ emerging sense of what it means to become “American” amidst an immigrant backlash. It takes the reader through a year in a settlement house classroom, and reveals the hopes, dreams, and struggles of immigrants who continue to pursue America’s promises—those realized and those broken.

Critical Literacies in Action

Social Perspectives and Teaching Practices

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Edited by Karyn Cooper and Robert E. White

Critical Literacies in Action: Social Perspectives and Teaching Practices asks how educators can become more experienced in order to truly support literacy, particularly for children of poverty or for those who have been labeled “at-risk”. This is especially important in current times, since a literate individual is one who is more successfully able to situate him- or herself within a continuum of lifelong learning in order to fulfill personal goals and to participate fully within the wider societyal context.
Although the word “literacy” has been with us for a very long time, the very meaning of the term itself has become increasingly complex due to a multiplicity of factors. At least in part, this complexity is a function of expanding and interconnecting notions of what it is that constitutes modern literacy as well as the increasingly technological nature of the world within which individuals live and learn. As such, a new horizon in literacy research has appeared, promising to renegotiate traditional definitions of the term “literate” and what it means to be critically literate in this increasingly complex world.
Definitions of literacy have also evolved along with the evolution of the computer. Currently, the term “literacy” describes a commitment to and participation in a multiplicity of meaning making systems, many of which exhibit ever-greater degrees of interdependence with one another. The term “Critical Literacy” has come into use relatively recently and is generally regarded as a sub-category of Critical Pedagogy—“Critical” because it promotes an agenda for positive social change.

Bryant Griffith

Education is a dance of complexity and struggle. Unfortunately, our educational system is tied to the observable and the verifiable, not the randomness of human beings and their diverse forms of expression. The reality of the contemporary classroom is a context of multifaceted diversity, with each classroom reflecting unique combinations of ideology, culture, and language, played out in numerous forms and permutations of multi-textual discourses. The influence of each contextual space is only limited by one’s ability to understand its complexity and to acknowledge it.
Teachers and learners are roommates of sorts, connected by the web of discourse and praxis, woven inside the global community. We live in a world where common understanding is desperately sought, yet one where language is often not tied to common understanding. Exploring the need for shared community within this context, Griffith provides a path in which the diverse ways of knowing can interlace to form pedagogical moments in which teachers and learners can deconstruct and construct alternatives.
Cultural narration is based on a series of social relationships, which can be compared to reading the world as a series of texts. As readers become a part of the reconstruction process, the educational system can be visualized as a series of cautionary tales about possibilities, about ways to live and build community in this modern/postmodern world. The author focuses on the nature of discourse and the importance of engaging in dialogue about what it means to be other-conscious, what it means to address questions about who we are and how we came to be who we are.
This path is continuously “under construction;” it is always in the process of becoming what is appearing on the horizon. As teachers learn to commit themselves to the gaps revealed by the narratives of their students, classrooms become discourse communities and contact zones, co-constructing contextual discourses which acknowledge ritual and gesture manifested in various forms of text.

Global Citizenship Education

Philosophy, Theory and Pedagogy

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Edited by Michael A. Peters, Alan Britton and Harry Blee

The essays in this edited collection argue that global citizenship education realistically must be set against the imperfections of our contemporary political realities. As a form of education it must actively engage in a critically informed way with a set of complex inherited historical issues that emerge out of a colonial past and the savage globalization which often perpetuates unequal power relations or cause new inequalities. The essays in the book explore these issues and the emergent world ideologies of globalism, as well as present territorial conflicts, ethnic, tribal and nationalist rivalries, problems of increasing international migration and asylum, growing regional imbalances and increasing world inequalities. Contributors to this collection, each on their own way, argues that global citizenship education needs to project new values, to reality test and debate the language, concepts and theories of global citizenship and the proto-world institutions that seek to give expression to nascent aspirations for international forms of social justice and citizen participation in world government. Many of the contributors argue that global citizenship education offers the prospect of extending the liberal ideologies of human rights and multiculturalism, and of developing a better understanding of forms of post-colonialism. One thing is sure, as the essays presented in this book demonstrate so clearly, there can be no one dominant notion of global citizenship education as notions of ‘global’, ‘citizenship’ and ‘education’ are all contested and open to further argument and revision. Global citizenship education does not name the moment of global citizenship or even its emergence so much as the hope of a form of order where the rights of the individual and of cultural groups, irrespective of race, gender, ethnicity or creed, are observed, preserved and protected by all governments in order to become the basis of citizen participation in new global spaces that we might be tempted to call global civil society.