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Reform(ing) Education

The Jena-Plan as a Concept for a Child-Centred School

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Ralf Koerrenz

"School as counter-public" is the hermeneutic key with which Ralf Koerrenz interprets the school model of the Jena Plan. Similar to the Dalton-Plan or the Winnetka-Plan, the Jena Plan is one of the most important concepts of alternative schools developed in the first half of the 20th century as part of the international movement for alternative education, the “World Education Fellowship”.

Peter Petersen's "Jena Plan" concept must be understood from his educational philosophical foundations. The didactic levels of action at school (teaching, learning) as well as the reflection of theory in pedagogical practice are made understandable by "school as a counter-public". Not least with a view to the today's Jena Plan schools, the question is asked for a context-independent core of what makes a school a Jena Plan school. The opportunities and ambivalences of the model thus become equally visible.

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Edited by Cédric Giraud

This Companion to Twelfth-Century Schools provides a comprehensive update and new synthesis of the last three decades of research. The fruit of a contemporary renewal of cultural history among international scholars of medieval studies, this collection draws on the discovery of new texts, the progress made in critical attribution, the growing attention given to the conditions surrounding the oral and written dissemination of works, the use of the notion of a “community of learning”, the reinterpretation of the relations between the cloister and the urban school, and links between institutional history and social history. Contributors are: Alexander Andrée, Irene Caiazzo, Cédric Giraud, Frédéric Goubier, Danielle Jacquart, Thierry Kouamé, Constant J. Mews, Ken Pennington, Dominique Poirel, Irène Rosier-Catach, Sita Steckel, Jacques Verger, and Olga Weijers.

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Edited by Becky Shelley, Kitty te Riele, Natalie Brown and Tess Crellin

The transformative power of education is widely recognised. Yet, harnessing the transformative power of education is complex for exactly those people and communities who would benefit the most. Much scholarship is available describing the ways in which educational access, opportunity and outcomes are unequally distributed; and much scholarship is dedicated to analysing and critiquing the ‘problems’ of education.

This volume gratefully builds on such analysis, to take a more constructive stance: examining how to better enable education to fulfil its promise of transforming lives.

Harnessing the Transformative Power of Education returns overall to a broader language of educational change rather than reduce our sense of scale and scope of ‘transformation’ to what might be measured in or by schools. It offers a series of practical, local but system wide and socially responsible practices, policies and analyses to support the ways that education can work at its best. The projects described here vary in scale and scope but are rooted in a wider sense of community and social responsibility so that education is considered as a necessary sustainable process to ensure productive futures for all.

Its contributors include not only scholars, but also professional experts and young people. The book’s aim is to share and advance authentic possibilities for enabling all children and young people to flourish through the transformative power of education.

Life-Practice Educology

A Contemporary Chinese Theory of Education

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Lan Ye

In Outlines of “Life-Practice” Educology: Recurrence and Breakthrough Ye Lan presents the theory of a contemporary China’s academic school of Educology. It consists of two main parts. The first part proposes a fully formulated view on Educology of Life-Practice School of Educology and expounds on current thinking in China that denies the independence of educology as a discipline. The second part is entitled Education of Life-Practice School of Educology. The author explains inherited and new understandings of the Life-Practice School of Educology from Chinese traditional culture to the current age, and further refines the Chinese understanding of Education (jiaoyu 教育) as teaching the knowledge of nature and society, and cultivating a self-conciousness towards life.

Artistic Mentoring as a Decolonizing Methodology

A Collaborative Painting Ethnography with Maya Artists Pedro Rafael González Chavajay and Paula Nicho Cúmez

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Kryssi Staikidis

To expand the possibilities of “doing arts thinking” from a non-Eurocentric view, Artistic Mentoring as a Decolonizing Methodology: A Collaborative Painting Ethnography with Maya Artists Pedro Rafael González Chavajay and Paula Nicho Cúmez is grounded in Indigenous perspectives on arts practice, arts research, and art education. Mentored in painting for eighteen years by two Guatemalan Maya artists, Kryssi Staikidis, a North American painter and art education professor, uses both Indigenous and decolonizing methodologies, which involve respectful collaboration, and continuously reexamines her positions as student, artist, and ethnographer searching to redefine and transform the roles of the artist as mentor, historian/activist, ethnographer, and teacher.

The primary purpose of the book is to illuminate the Maya artists as mentors, the collaborative and holistic processes underlying their painting, and the teaching and insights from their studios. These include Imagined Realism, a process excluding rendering from observation, and the fusion of pedagogy and curriculum into a holistic paradigm of decentralized teaching, negotiated curriculum, personal and cultural narrative as thematic content, and the surrounding visual culture and community as text.

The Maya artist as cultural historian creates paintings as platforms of protest and vehicles of cultural transmission, for example, genocide witnessed in paintings as historical evidence. The mentored artist as ethnographer cedes the traditional ethnographic authority of the colonizing stance to the Indigenous expert as partner and mentor, and under this mentorship analyzes its possibilities as decolonizing arts-based qualitative inquiry. For the teacher, Maya world views broaden and integrate arts practice and arts research, inaugurating possibilities to transform arts education.

Educating Media Literacy

The Need for Critical Media Literacy in Teacher Education

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Allison T. Butler

Critical media literacy is a necessary part of young people’s education and can foster the space for a more thoroughly informed and involved citizenry. In order to make critical media literacy sustainable in K-12 classrooms, learning and application of it must begin with teachers, preferably during their formal schooling. Educating Media Literacy is a manifesto for the inclusion of media literacy in teacher education and, by extension, in K-12 classrooms. Through a discussion of critical media literacy’s aims and the role of teacher education in the United States, this book argues for the inclusion of critical media literacy in teacher education.

Educating Media Literacy addresses two separate topics – teacher education and media literacy – and illustrates how they are intertwined: The United States struggles simultaneously with how best to train and retain prospective teachers and how to foster a better understanding of mainstream media. These two struggles can join forces and move towards a solution through the following: The inclusion of critical media literacy in teacher education programs.

Engaging Learners with Semiotics

Lessons Learned from Reading the Signs

Ruth Gannon-Cook and Kathryn Ley

Semiotics has explained the cognitive mechanisms of a complex, subtle and important phenomenon affecting all human interactions and communications across socio-cultural, socio-economic groups. Semiotics has captured a durable and enriching functionality from multiple disciplines including psychology, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, marketing and their multidisciplinary off-spring, such as, educational psychology, consumer psychology, visual literacy, media studies, etc. Semiotic treatises have explored critical factors affecting the relationship between any intended message and the message recipient’s interpretation. The factors that shape interpretation inherently affect learning and often directly affect learner engagement with the content. Learning environments have been culturally-laden communication experiences which academics, largely segmented by discipline, have described but often cloaked in semiotic jargon.

Each chapter integrates example after example of semiotics in everyday activities and events, such as stories, graphics, movies, games, infographics, and educational strategies. The chapters also present the most salient semiotic features for learning environments. The book describes semiotics as a communications phenomenon with practical implications for educators to enhance courses and programs with semiotic features in any educational environment but especially in mediated e-learning environments.

Intelligent Internationalization

The Shape of Things to Come

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Edited by Kara A. Godwin and Hans de Wit

In 2015, Laura Rumbley put forward the notion that higher education—in a highly complex, globally interdependent world—would be wise to commit to an agenda of "intelligent internationalization" (I2). I2 turns on the notion that "the development of a thoughtful alliance between the research, practitioner, and policy communities," in tandem with key decision makers in leadership roles, is essential for institutions and systems of higher education seeking sustained relevance and vitality through their internationalization efforts. Does "intelligent internationalization" make sense? What is faulty, misguided, or missing from this analysis that could be strengthened through further consideration? On the other hand, what speaks to its value as an idea or agenda to advance the way that internationalization is understood and enacted in the world? These issues will be addressed in this book which builds on a 2018 Symposium on Intelligent Internationalization.

Lessons Learned from Novice Teachers

An International Perspective

Kari Smith, Marit Ulvik and Ingrid Helleve

The transition from being a student teacher to taking on the full responsibility as a teacher is experienced as challenging for many novice teachers. In this book, ten newly qualified teachers from five countries, Australia, England, Finland, Israel and Norway, tell their stories as they came through in individual interviews. The narratives, written by the authors, were all approved by the teachers as 'their' stories. What can we learn from listening to the narratives? What can we bring to decision-makers about how to support new teachers? Do new teachers face similar challenges around the world, or do experiences depend on their respective contexts? There are more similarities than differences.

Relevant research literature is used in discussing the cases. Much of the literature on novice teachers focuses on difficulties, and the stories presented in this book confirm that the first year is tough. However, the resilience, motivation and enthusiasm reflected in the stories provide reasons for optimism as regards teachers’ satisfaction with their career choice.

A major reason for deciding to stay in the profession is in the relations they created with the students. Satisfaction or stress related to the curriculum or achievements in their respective teaching subjects was not mentioned. The lessons learned from the ten novice teachers are useful when discussing the teaching profession, and not least, the induction phase of a teaching career.

Share Engage Educate

SEEding Change for a Better World

Vinesh Chandra

There is no doubt that our world is becoming increasingly more connected through digital technologies. For meaningful participation in this environment we need to be digitally literate, yet there are many children in developing countries who have yet to touch a computer because of social disadvantage. For these children, schools are the only place where they can build this capacity. Regrettably, many schools in these communities are under resourced. They do not have sufficient and relevant library books, let alone digital resources. As a consequence, teaching and learning strategies have remained unchanged for decades.

The field of critical pedagogy evolved through the initial work of Paulo Freire. This theory is underpinned by critical thinking about societal issues followed by action and reflection. When citizens are armed with such knowledge and skills, they can positively impact on the lives of the underprivileged. Critical pedagogy, however, is still struggling to find its meaningful place, particularly in higher education. This is largely due to the lack of effective strategies and critical educators.

Share Engage Educate is an auto-ethnography which presents accounts of the initiatives that were undertaken to promote print and digital literacy in rural and remote schools in eight developing countries. It highlights the experiences of school leaders, teachers, university staff and students, and globally minded citizens working alongside local communities to enhance the quality of education for over 15,000 children in these schools. This book explores how critical pedagogy can unfold in educational spaces through knowledge sharing, engaging and in the process educating all stakeholders.