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Editors: Murray Print and Henry Milner
Why does it appear that many young people are disengaging from democracy and political participation? For many governments, politicians, academics, social commentators and researchers this is a serious and challenging problem. Consequently widespread interest exists on how to engage young people in politics and democracy. Civic education has re-emerged as a possible answer to this question, though not necessarily in the form in which it may be currently known. This book examines research into issues about the engagement of young people in politics and democracy and examines research on civic education applications and programs which may address concerns about youth political participation. Murray Print and Henry Milner are professors from the University of Sydney and the Universite de Montreal respectively. They have brought together a group of leading researchers exploring the relationship between political participation and civic education to examine this relationship in greater depth.
Professional Voices From the Field
In an age when responses to accountability regimes in education range from hysteria to cynicism, this volume reframes accountability in narratives of collective, participatory responsibility that leave one feeling inspired and ready to act. The authors, all scholar-practitioners speaking from contexts spanning leadership, policy, literacy, indigenous education, and diversity, explore ways to navigate accountability discourses with wisdom, courage and hope.—Tara Fenwick, PhD, Head, Dept. of Educational Studies, University of British Columbia.
In this collection, the preoccupation of educational institutions with accountability is critically examined by writers who work in the field. They consider the impact of accountability regimes on professional practice and the learning agenda, challenge current policies and call for a rethinking of accountability. The skills and knowledge associated with this work is what we should hold schools accountable to. It is, as you see from reading these contributions, time for change.—Stephen Murgatroyd, PhD, Chief Scout, The Innovation Expedition Inc.
About the Book
From their diverse perspectives, nine educational practitioners discuss current educational accountability policies and how these affect students, educators, learning and teaching in a variety of settings, from K-12 schools to post-secondary institutions and government agencies. The authors combine theory, research and their day-to-day experiences to reflect on the challenges posed by realities such as outcomes-based curricula, high-stakes testing, standardized reporting and management by objectives. By examining current accountability initiatives and their effects in relation to core values of public education such as equity, diversity, democracy and opportunity, this book offers educators a range of insights for thinking about and doing education differently.
The craft of teaching and learning is like playing in a symphony orchestra; every instrument has a voice and every voice is integral to the whole. The arts, history, anthropology, and philosophy and their forged discourses offer us a series of cautionary tales about the multiplicity of ways we can see and understand our world, ways we often ignore in the classroom. In the case of epistemology, and pedagogy in particular, we have hinged our understanding on a binary of opposites engaged in a dialectic dance and a type of discourse constructed to describe and explain it. The art and act of teaching in this as-if world necessitates teachers to be public intellectuals; intellectual symbols who represent something more than just subject-knowledge expertise but serve as conduits between the discourses of our world.
Established genres and discourses are exclusionary. The vast migration of people and ideas is producing a new set of presuppositions. The manner in which we decode other discourses and fuse them into meanings, both personal and shared, is the root of both teaching and learning, giving us a window into the way that each form of thought is connected, both historically and experientially. Look around you, your school is becoming the United Nations, but it’s not so united. Don’t aim for truth, aim for understanding. Today’s students construct and deconstruct in a multitude of ways on an as-needed, just-in-time basis. Since ideas of difference are often nudged but unacknowledged, we are in danger of becoming pedagogical dinosaurs, not heeding change until it is too late.
Teaching and learning are construction zones, so get out your hard hat. These constructions are possibilities that need to be discussed and negotiated, allowing us to sidestep the traps of grand narratives and a hierarchy of discplinarity and research methodology. Our possibilities need to be forged on an anvil of diversity. These are the spaces, the interstices, where our voices become innovative and our silence offers a safe harbor. Spaces to listen, collaborate, and craft cautionary tales about our lives and the possibilities for a shared future.
Subject, Society and Curriculum
Editors: Eero Ropo and Tero Autio
This collection of essays from the most prominent scholars in the field of curriculum studies paint an intellectually rich palette of the present state of curriculum research across the countries and continents when the traditionally prevailed national imaginaries give increasingly way to transnational, international, and postnational impulses. The main parameters of education, subjectivity and its belonging, is shifting by employing the contradictory and broader issues around the question of nation and nation-state as well as around its traditional educational counterpart, the psychologized individual, both radically reinterpreted by post- and rereadings of old educational and social canons. International Conversations on Curriculum identifies the present transformations at work nationwide, worldwide, between and beyond, by focusing on these shifts from a variety of methodological, theoretical, national, political, and pedagogic concerns. It will open new and, one could argue, compelling vistas for reconsidering the social and political mission and moral purpose of education policies, of curriculum theory and practice in the increasingly but unevenly connected world characterized by economic volatility, unfair trade, ethnic and religious conflicts, and growing social instability and collective existential insecurity. As such, the essays are a vital international testimony to the scholarly vibrancy and to the global awareness of the current intellectualized field of curriculum studies to alertly recognize and register the cultural, educational, and political urgencies of our times.
Today, the United States stands as the most religiously diverse country in the world. This diversity poses great challenges as well as opportunities. Christian denominations and their cultural manifestations, however, often function to marginalize, exclude, and deny members and institutions of other religions and non-believers the privileges and access that accompany a Christian affiliation. Christianity is the privileged religious perspective in the United States since Christian groups, people, and organizations often have the power to define normalcy. Christian privilege comprises a large array of benefits that are often invisible, unearned, and unacknowledged by Christians. At times overt while at other times more subtle as Christian religious practice and beliefs have entered the public square, the clearly religious meanings, symbolism, positionality, and antecedents of these practices and beliefs betray claims to mere secularism. The effect of the so-called “secularization” of Christian religious practices and beliefs not only fortifies, but strengthens Christian privilege by perpetuating Christian influence in such a way as to avoid detection as religion or circumvent violating the constitutional requirements for the separation of religion and government. Christian dominance, therefore, is maintained often by its relative invisibility. With this invisibility, privilege is neither analyzed nor scrutinized, neither interrogated nor confronted. Investigating Christian Privilege and Religious Oppression in the United States addresses Christian privilege as well as religious oppression since the two are in symbiotic relationship: oppression toward non-Christians gives rise to Christian privilege in the United States, and Christian privilege maintains oppression toward non-Christian individuals and faith communities. This anthology also provides historical and contemporary cases exposing Christian privilege and religious oppression on the societal, institutional, and personal/interpersonal levels. A number of chapters include sections suggesting change strategies, and in particular, ways to achieve the national goal of religious pluralism in the United States.
Sylvia Ashton-Warner and New Zealand
Sylvia Ashton-Warner, novelist and educationist, was extraordinarily famous in the 1960s. She maintained that young children best learn to read and write when they produce their own vocabulary, especially sex words—like ‘kiss’, and fear words—like ‘ghost’. Educators lauded her.
Her autobiographical novels about teaching in remote schools, and being culturally abandoned in a remote country, New Zealand, attained enormous international popularity in both literary and educational circles.
But she had an intensely ambivalent relationship with the land of her birth. Despite receiving many accolades in New Zealand, she claimed to have been rejected and persecuted by her homeland. In her darkest moments, she railed against New Zealand and New Zealanders, even stating in one television interview: “I’m not a New Zealander!”
This is the first book to make Sylvia Ashton-Warner’s passionately difficult relationship with New Zealand its central focus. Its contributors argue that, rather than stultifying her, the country she decried produced Sylvia and her work. In addition, infant schooling in New Zealand in the post-war years was relatively radical and progressive, and education officials seemed to welcome Sylvia’s ideas about literacy.
The edited collection includes chapters by Maori teachers and others who worked with Sylvia, as well as recollections of her son, Elliot Henderson. It reprints her Teaching Scheme that was originally published in New Zealand in the 1950s. And it celebrates her novels as brilliant and angry evocations of life in the wildness of New Zealand.
Place Studies for a Global World
"Places are made after their stories. Just as place names describe complex, and conflicted, place-making aspirations, so with all marks associated with the marking of places: tracks, the symbolic representation of these in song, dance and poetic speech, indeed all the technologies that join up distances into narratives—they all inscribe the earth’s surface with the forms of stories. Of course, these are not the same as the foundational myths of imperial cultures, whose aim is to displace any prior discourse of place-making. They are stories of, and as, journeys: passages in a double sense, constitutionally incomplete because they always await their completion in the act of crossing-over, or meeting, which, of course, is endless."
Paul Carter
‘Landscapes and Learning’ maps some of these stories and passageways to open up new place making possibilities. The book uses the lens of place to explore how we can respond differently to some of the major questions of our time. Postcolonial global concerns such as increased displacement and migration, the loss of indigenous knowledges, and the imperatives of environmental degradation and climate change, require critical educational responses. Place studies provides new languages and fresh metaphors to open up interdisciplinary conversations in the space between local and global, and indigenous and non-indigenous knowledges. Through its focus on the mutual constitution of bodies, identities, histories, spaces and places, place studies offers a conceptual tool for important cultural and environmental transformations.
Critical Race Theory and Moving from Liberal to Critical Forms of Race Research in Sociology of Education
“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.
Understanding and Applying Visual Data to Research in Education
The visual inputs we receive can be collectively called visual data. Precisely how one defines visual data is a key question to ask. That is one of the questions we asked each author who wrote a chapter for this book. If one comes to a decision with respect to what visual data are, then the next question becomes, “What are visual data like?” Then, “What do they mean?” As with any data, we can collect it and compile it, but if we don’t have some way to bring meaning it, it has little value to us. The answers may not be as straightforward as one might assume at the outset.
The extent to which visual data permeates what we do as educators is such that it may be difficult to identify every discipline in which it emerges. In this book, we have tried to provide a forum for authors from a cross section of common disciplines: visual arts, English, literacy, mathematics, science, social science, and even higher education administration.
An important contribution that ‘Emerging curriculum’ makes is a reconceptualizing of the curriculum development process. This moves development thinking from the traditional research-development-dissemination model to one that acknowledges: the interrelatedness of many influences on curriculum, the multi-layered nature of curriculum, and the complexity of the educational system in which curriculum exists. Indeed the educational system is envisaged as a ‘complex living system’ The study is autobiographical, it is based on a lifetime spent in education during which the author had a particular interest in curriculum and the associated development processes, and how one’s ideas about these change over time. ‘Emerging curriculum has been successfully submitted as a PhD thesis but was written as a book for a wider audience than the traditional thesis one. It shows by example how reflection on one’s work throughout one’s career can be considered as research and can contribute to knowledge in a similar way to that of more traditional doctoral research projects. It is hoped that teachers reading this will relate to the author’s experiences in schools, and will see themselves significant contributors to curriculum; that curriculum developers will be provoked into considering alternative ways of working; and that academics might move curriculum theorising closer to the reality of schools.