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Words and Worlds

Modeling Verbal Descriptions of Situations

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Edited by Lieven Verschaffel, Brian Greer, Wim Van Dooren and Swapna Mukhopadhyay

In this book, the reader is invited to enter a strange world in which you can tell the age of the captain by counting the animals on his ship, where runners do not get tired, and where water gets hotter when you add it to other water. It is the world of a curious genre, known as "word problems" or "story problems". It originated in the ancient civilizations of Egypt, China, and India, and is the subject of daily rituals among students and teachers in mathematics classrooms all around the world. An international group of scholars with a shared interest in this phenomenon explore multiple aspects of this world from multiple perspectives. These discussions take us deep into philosophical issues of the relationships between words, mathematical systems, and the physical and social worlds we all inhabit. Empirical investigations are reported that throw light on how students and their teachers experience and interpret this activity, raising profound questions about the nature and purposes of mathematics teaching/learning in general and how it could be improved.

Obsoleting Culture

Educational Conscience after Willy Loman

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Matthew S. Rosin

As we rush headlong into the technological and disruptive world of global capitalism, the American Dream has become increasingly a story about education and learning. This contemporary myth tells that the individual can succeed if she acquires the proper dispositions, knowledge and technical know-how throughout her life. Those who fall into obsolescence do so as a consequence of educational failure.
Obsoleting Culture draws from such diverse fields as philosophy of education, sociology, anthropology, cultural studies and journalism to explore the heavy burdens this contemporary myth places on the self. Through a close reading of one of the greatest American plays of the twentieth century, Obsoleting Culture considers “learning” as the name we give to the struggle to achieve value, relevance and a place in the future plans of others.

Edited by James A. Athanasou

Adult Educational Psychology is useful for those encountering psychology as a subject in adult education courses as well as those with an interest in the psychology of adult development. It is directly relevant for teachers in higher education, instructors in technical and further education, staff development and human resource practitioners as well as community educators. It provides the first major text of its type offering a wide ranging and comprehensive introduction to educational psychology from an adult perspective. It covers fundamental topics such as human development, social psychology, social learning, emotion, motivation, interest, intelligence, cognition, retention and learning. Applied chapters focus on skill development, psychological testing and human judgement. Fifteen contributors introduce the reader to recent advances in psychology with an emphasis on learning and adjustment in adulthood. Each chapter concludes with major references, questions for review and exercises.

Alternative Educational Futures

Pedagogies for Emergent Worlds

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Edited by Marcus Bussey, Sohail Inayatullah and Ivana Milojević

We desperately need the dynamic revolution in education that this book offers us, reflecting the new ways of thinking and being on this planet that will permit us to live in peace as a global family even through massive climate changes. Read it and put these ideas into practice as quickly as possible in any ways you can!” —Elisabet Sahtouris, Evolutionary biologist and futurist, author of EarthDance: Living Systems in Evolution

Authentic Science Revisited

In Praise of Diversity, Heterogeneity, Hybridity

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Wolff-Michael Roth, Michiel van Eijck, Giuliano Reis and Pei-Ling Hsu

Since its appearance in 1995, Authentic School Science has been a resource for many teachers and schools to rethink and change what they are doing in and with their science classrooms. As others were trying to implement the kinds of learning environments that we had described, our own thinking and teaching praxis changed in part because of our dissatisfaction with our own understanding. Over the years, we have piloted ever-new ways of organizing science lessons to figure out what works and how both successful and not-so-successful ways of doing science education should be theorized. In this period, we developed a commitment to cultural-historical activity theory, which does not dichotomize individual and collective, social and material, embodied and cultural forms of knowing, and so on. It turns out now that the problem does not lie with the level of agreement between school science and laboratory science but with the levels of control, authority, mastery, and authorship that students are enabled to exercise. Thus, as this book shows, even field trips may deprive students of science authenticity on outdoor activities and even classroom-based science may provide opportunities for doing science in an authentic manner, that is, with high levels of control over the learning environment, authority, master, and authorship. Ultimately, our understanding of authenticity emphasizes its heterogeneous nature, which we propose to think in terms of a different ontology, an ontology of difference, which takes mixtures, heterogeneity, and hybridity as its starting point rather than as poor derivatives of self-same, pure entities including science, scientific concepts, and scientific practice. In Authentic Science Revisited, the authors offer a refreshing new approach to theorizing, thinking, and doing authentic science.

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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”.

Edited by Stephanie Springgay, Rita L. Irwin, Carl Leggo and Peter Gouzouasis

Being with A/r/tography is a collection of essays that explain and exemplify the arts-based research methodology called a/r/tography. Edited by four scholars who are artists, researchers, and teachers (a/r/tographers), this book is a methodology book for practitioners in arts-based educational research. In addition to an introductory essay which contextualizes and theorizes the methodological framework of a/r/tography, the book is divided into three main thematic sections that are integral to a/r/tographical research: (1) self-study and autobiography; (2) communities of a/r/tographic practice; (3) ethics and activism. The book concludes with a consideration of issues related to assessment, validity, and interpretation.
Being with A/r/tography will be an excellent core text in graduate courses that focus on arts-based educational research, as well as a valuable text in pre-service teacher education programs. The book will also be significant for qualitative research courses in all the social sciences and the health sciences, including communication studies, nursing, counseling psychology, and arts therapy. The book provides a clear and comprehensive introduction to a/r/tography. Even though a/r/tography as a research methodology is relatively new in the scholarly field, Being with A/r/tography spells out how scholarly practitioners who are artists and researchers and teachers have been pursuing this kind of research for a long time.

Between the 'Real' and the 'Imagined'

Professional Learning, Reflective Practice and Transformational Leadership

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Leslie James Pereira

How can the idea of leadership be understood in the context of modern day schools? What can contemporary perspectives on knowledge and the nature of its acquisition offer the practicing educator? Between the 'Real' and the 'Imagined' examines the essence of what it means to be a leader. Drawing on a lived experience of the complexities that face those in leadership positions, it explores espoused aims and accepted practices and challenges conventional ideas of traditional and transformative approaches. Within a framework of narrative inquiry, the author describes, analyses and reconceptualises issues and understandings that are central to the human experience and which impact heavily on the interactions between the leader and the led. He gains perspective by drawing on a variety of seemingly disparate lenses while drawing on insights from across cultures and epistemological frames. As a postmodern example of both the process and the product of 'coming-to-know', Between the 'Real' and the 'Imagined' offers graduate students, academic faculty and researchers in education, leadership and the social sciences a theoretically stimulating text while maintaining ‘a grounding in real life sensibility that will appeal to educational practitioners.’

Challenges for Inclusion

Educational and Social Studies From Britain and the Indian Sub-Continent

Edited by Christopher Adam Bagley and Gajendra K. Verma

This book reviews current controversies and dilemmas in the educational and social development of children and adolescents in Britain, India, Bangladesh and Nepal. Britain is contrasted with the Indian Sub-Continent because in theory at least, Britain has policies which should enable young people to be fully integrated within the educational system, whatever the degree of their original disability, while in the Indian Sub-Continent such educational opportunities are denied to many children because of problems of social structure, values, and poverty. The rights of the disabled to full inclusion are emphasized in two chapters by Sharon Rustemier. But a chapter by Dame Mary Warnock whose report to government designed the system for educational inclusion, shows that British policies for inclusion of the disabled are not working. The chapter by Bagley outlines the 'poverty of education' in Britain, which means that in a highly stratified society many children—both poor and disabled - are excluded from mainstream education by decisions based on school policies and neighbourhood disadvantage.
India in contrast is a culture in which inclusion of the disabled within educational systems is marred by economic poverty, as well as deliberate policies which deny Dalits (formerly known as 'Untouchables’) access to many kinds of educational opportunity. Nevertheless, there are pockets of good practice in India including the legal framework for action, which chapters by Jha and Jaya identify.
The history of educational initiatives for social and educational of the very poor of Bangladesh are reviewed in detail since these initiatives illustrate the work of a unique NGO (BRAC—the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee) which offers advancement for the poorest of the poor in a nation that is significantly poorer than India. Nepal too is also one of the poorest nations on earth, and we offer a detailed account of the trafficking of women and girls from Nepal into Indian brothels. These girls are permanently excluded from all social and educational networks, and their plight poses a major challenge for the movement for the social and educational inclusion of all children.

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.