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In Doubt

- about Language, Mathematics, Knowledge and Life-Worlds

Ole Skovsmose

During years a main part of Ole Skovsmose’s research has addressed educational issues. He has developed the notions of landscapes of investigation, mathematics in action, students’ foreground, and ghettoising with particular reference to mathematics education. In this book he addresses more general issues related to mathematics.
Ole Skovsmose tries to show that mathematics, like any other language, includes presumptions, ideas, and priorities. Mathematics does not provide a step out of the metaphysics that accompanies natural language, as suggested by many, who see mathematics as the language of objectivity. By investigating how mathematics forms part of technological endeavours, Ole Skovsmose explores how also mathematics itself embraces a range of metaphysical assumptions.
This observation has implications for how we interpret the most general aspects of human life. Thus, Ole Skovsmose sees our life-worlds as fabricated and mathematics as being crucial to this fabrication. It constitutes part of the human condition, although it can be a highly dubious and frightful constitution.

Bryant Griffith

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.

In the Spirit of Ubuntu

Stories of Teaching and Research

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Edited by Diane Caracciolo and Anne M. Mungai

This is an excellent and timely bookIn the Spirit of Ubuntu: Stories of Teaching and Research represents a seminal educational intervention that should re-direct the way we see and interact with learning and pedagogical projects and relationships. The book is well organized, is written in non-alienating, humanist language, and should be very useful for students, researchers, and the general public. Students in the West, who are not familiar with the philosophy of ubuntu, should be exposed to the contents of this book.”—Ali A Abdi, in Alberta Journal of Educational Research, Vol. 58, No. 4

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Edited by Cher Ping Lim, Kenneth Cock, Graeme Lock and Christopher Brook

Pre-service teacher education is a crucial component of the lifelong process of the professional development of teachers as it equips prospective teachers with the necessary and sufficient competencies to design meaningful and authentic learning environments that engage students in the learning process. If done well, it enhances the quality and improves upon the retention of teachers in the profession. This book is important because it attempts to deconstruct the nature and describe the practice of current pre-service courses and programs in the Asia-Pacific region, examine new paradigms of pre-service teacher education and their implications for practice, and explore emerging innovative practices. Moreover, this book’s particular focus on engaging new partners and on harnessing required resources and capacities in the process; together with the particular role that new technologies may play in the new partnerships is especially valuable. Drawing upon leading scholars of teacher education from the Asia-Pacific region, the 12 chapters in this book are divided into three main sections to revitalize and inform the scholarship and debate on teacher education:
—Examining Pre-Service Teacher Education
—Engaging Partners in Pre-Service Teacher Education
—Emerging Practices in Pre-Service Teacher Education

International Conversations on Curriculum Studies

Subject, Society and Curriculum

Edited by 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.

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Edited by Alister Jones and Marc J. de Vries

This international handbook reflects on the development of the field of technology education. From reviewing how the field has developed and its current strengths, consideration is given to where the field might go and how it can be supported in this process.
This handbook argues that technology is an essential part of education for all and it provides a unique coverage of the developing field of technology education. It is divided into eight sections, from consideration of different approaches to education in different countries, through thinking about the nature of technology, perceptions of technology, relationships between science, technology and society, learning and teaching, assessment, teacher education and professional development, and developed and developing research approaches. This book constitutes a significant collection of work from numerous countries and authors actively engaged in technology education research and development. It is intended for graduate students, academics, researchers, curriculum developers, professional development providers, policy makers, and practitioners.
The development of this handbook represents an important step in the maturity of the field of technology education. The field has matured, as our technological society has matured, to the point that research and practice can be documented as shared in this publication. Historians will look at this international handbook as a significant, comprehensive step for a field of education that focuses on technology, innovation, design, and engineering for all students.
Kendall Starkweather, Ph.D., DTE, CAE. (ITEA Executive Director)

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Edited by Warren J. Blumenfeld, Khyati Y. Joshi and Ellen E. Fairchild

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.

Labor of Learning

Market and the Next Generation of Educational Reform

Alexander Sidorkin

This book is about the end of an era in education. It argues that schooling as we know it will cease to exist and be replaced with something else. Education will undergo a radical, fundamental change, replacing traditional compulsory schooling with a market-based system of learning that is finely tuned to demand and does not rely on extra-economic coercion. The premise of the book is to treat school learning as a form of labor. Its genre lies somewhere between educational theory and a political economy of education.
The author explores the origins of the contemporary mass schooling models and redefines school learning in terms of labor, with special reference to genesis of education and to the history of childhood in its connection with schooling. Schools are described as islands of non-market, semi-feudal economies in the midst of the sea of markets, which explains some of the most common worries about learning motivation. The book offers several critiques of the most influential thoughts on schooling today: Progressivism, the Human Capital theory, the belief in intrinsic motivation, the voucher movement and the accountability reform. And finally, it outlines two alternative solutions for educational problems which stem from the essential lack of learning motivation. This book is an invitation to resurrect the tradition of asking fundamental questions about education. Improving what is essentially a flawed institution can take us only so far; the author is inviting the reader to go further.

Leaders in Curriculum Studies

Intellectual Self-Portraits

Series:

Leonard J. Waks and Edmund C. Short

In the 1950s and 1960s school teaching became a university-based profession, and scholars and policy leaders looked to the humanities and social sciences in building an appropriate knowledge base. By the mid-1960s there was talk about a “new” philosophy, history, and sociology of education. Curriculum thinkers such as Joseph Schwab, Dwayne Heubner and Paul Hirst initiated new intellectual projects to supplement applied work in curriculum.
By the 1970s the field was in the process of re-conceptualization, as a new generation of scholars provided deep critical insights into the social, political and cultural dynamics of school experience and templates for renewal of curriculum research and practice.
In this book, 18 leading curriculum scholars since 1970 who remain influential today present the fascinating stories of their lives and important new contributions to the field. They trace their early experiences in teaching and curriculum development, creative directions in their work, mature ideas and perceptions of future directions for the field. Each chapter contains a list of works chosen by the authors as their personal favorites.

Learning for Meaning's Sake

Toward the Hermeneutic University

Series:

Stephanie Mackler

Universities, and the societies they serve, suffer from a crisis of meaning: We have fanatically developed our ability to produce knowledge, leaving our ability to craft meaning by the wayside. University graduates often have an abundance of knowledge but lack the wisdom to use it meaningfully. Meanwhile, people inside and outside academia are searching for meaning but are imprisoned in a lexicon of clichés and sound bites that stunts their quest.
In response, Learning for Meaning’s Sake begins with the assertion that higher education in the 21st century should renounce its obsession with job training and knowledge production and should, instead, turn toward questions of meaning. Drawing upon a diverse range of philosophical thought, Learning for Meaning’s Sake offers the vision and philosophical foundation for a new type of higher learning-one that is devoted to the existential questions at the core of human existence.