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The Gold and the Dross

Althusser for Educators

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David I. Backer

In the last decade, there has been an international resurgence of interest in the philosophy of Louis Althusser. New essays, journalism, collections, secondary literature, and even manuscripts by Althusser himself are emerging, speaking in fresh ways to audiences of theorists and activists. Althusser is especially important in educational thought, as he famously claimed that school is the most impactful ideological state apparatus in modern society. This insight inspired a generation of educational researchers, but Althusser’s philosophy—unique in a number of ways, one of which was its emphasis on education—largely lost popularity.

Despite this resurgence of interest, and while Althusser’s philosophy is important for educators and activists to know about, it remains difficult to understand. The Gold and the Dross: Althusser for Educators, with succinct prose and a creative organization, introduces readers to Althusser’s thinking. Intended for those who have never encountered Althusser’s theory before, and even those who are new to philosophy and critical theory in general, the book elaborates the basic tenets of Althusser’s philosophy using examples and personal stories juxtaposed with selected passages of Althusser’s writing. Starting with a beginner’s guide to interpellation and Althusser’s concept of ideology, the book continues by elaborating the epistemology and ontology Althusser produced, and concludes with his concepts of society and science. The Gold and the Dross makes Althusser’s philosophy more available to contemporary audiences of educators and activists.

No BS (Bad Stats)

Black People Need People Who Believe in Black People Enough Not to Believe Every Bad Thing They Hear about Black People

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Ivory A. Toldson

What if everything you thought you knew about Black people generally, and educating Black children specifically, was based on BS (bad stats)? We often hear things like, “Black boys are a dying breed,” “There are more Black men in prison than college,” “Black children fail because single mothers raise them,” and “Black students don’t read.” In No BS, Ivory A. Toldson uses data analysis, anecdotes, and powerful commentary to dispel common myths and challenge conventional beliefs about educating Black children. With provocative, engaging, and at times humorous prose, Toldson teaches educators, parents, advocates, and students how to avoid BS, raise expectations, and create an educational agenda for Black children that is based on good data, thoughtful analysis, and compassion. No BS helps people understand why Black people need people who believe in Black people enough not to believe every bad thing they hear about Black people.

The Labour of Words in Higher Education

Is it Time to Reoccupy Policy?

Sarah Hayes

As Higher Education has come to be valued for its direct contribution to the global economy, university policy discourse has reinforced this rationale. In The Labour of Words in Higher Education: Is it Time to Reoccupy Policy? two globes are depicted. One is a beautiful, but complete artefact, that markets a UK university. The second sits on a European city street and is continually inscribed with the markings of passers-by. A distinction is drawn between the rhetoric of university McPolicy, as a discourse that appears to no longer require input from humans, and a more authentic approach to writing policy, that acknowledges the academic labour of staff and students, in effecting change.

Inspired by the work of George Ritzer on the McDonaldisation of Society, the term McPolicy is adopted by the author, to describe a rational method of writing policy, now widespread across UK universities. Recent strategies on ‘the student experience’, ‘technology enhanced learning’, ‘student engagement’ and ‘employability’ are explored through a corpus-based Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). Findings are humourously compared to the marketing of consumer goods, where commodities like cars are invested with human qualities, such as ‘ambition’. Similarly, McPolicy credits non-human strategies, technologies and a range of socially constructed buzz phrases, with the human qualities and labour activities that would normally be enacted by staff and students.

This book is written for anyone with an interest in the future of universities. It concludes with suggestions of ways we might all reoccupy McPolicy.

The Reflexivity of Pain and Privilege

Auto-Ethnographic Collections of Mixed Identity

Edited by Ellis Hurd

The Reflexivity of Pain and Privilege offers a fresh and critical perspective to people of indigenous and/or marginalized identifications. It highlights the research, shared experiences and personal stories, and the artistic collections of those who are of mixed heritage and/or identity, as well as the perspectives of young adolescents who identify as being of mixed racial, socio-economic, linguistic, and ethno-cultural backgrounds and experiences. These auto-ethnographic collections serve as an impetus for the untold stories of millions of marginalized people who may find solace here and in the stories of others who are of mixed identity.

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Edited by Peter Charles Taylor and Bal Chandra Luitel

In a rapidly globalizing world, the pressing challenge for science and mathematics educators is to develop their transdisciplinary capabilities for countering the neo-colonial hegemony of the Western modern worldview that has been embedded historically, like a Trojan Horse, in the international education export industry. Research as Transformative Learning for Sustainable Futures introduces the world to next-generation multi-worldview research that empowers prospective educational leaders with a vision and voice for designing 21st century educational policies and practices that foster sustainable development of the diverse cultural capital of their multicultural societies. At the heart of this research are the principles of equity, inclusiveness and social justice.

The book starts with accounts of the editors' extensive experience of engaging culturally diverse educators in postgraduate research as transformative learning. A unique aspect of their work is combining Eastern and Western wisdom traditions. In turn, the chapter authors – teacher educators from universities across Asia, Southern Africa, the Middle East, and the Pacific – share their experience of research that transformed their philosophies of professional practice. They illustrate the following aspects of their engagement in research as transformative learning for sustainable futures: excavating auto|ethnographically their lifeworld experiences of learning and teaching; developing empowering scholarly perspectives for analysing critically and reflexively the complex cultural framings of their professional practices; re-visioning their cultural and professional identities; articulating transformative philosophies of professional practice; and enacting transformative agency on return to their educational institutions.

Contributors are: Naif Mastoor Alsulami, Shashidhar Belbase, Nalini Chitanand, Alberto Felisberto Cupane, Suresh Gautam, Bal Chandra Luitel, Neni Mariana, Milton Norman Medina, Doris Pilirani Mtemang'ombe, Emilia Afonso Nhalevilo, Hisashi Otsuji, Binod Prasad Pant, Sadruddin Bahadur Qutoshi, Yuli Rahmawati, Indra Mani Rai (Yamphu), Siti Shamsiah Sani, Indra Mani Shrestha, Mangaratua M. Simanjorang, and Peter Charles Taylor.

Another Way

Decentralization, Democratization and the Global Politics of Community-Based Schooling

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Edited by Rebecca Clothey and Kai Heidemann

Drawing on a variety of methodological and theoretical perspectives, the case studies compiled in Another Way: Decentralization, Democratization and the Global Politics of Community-Based Schooling offer a comparative look at how global processes of educational decentralization have both helped and hindered the development of community-based schools in local-level settings across Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. On the one hand, the book shows how increased decentralization is often perceived as essential to assuring robust levels of democratization, community participation and social justice in education. On the other hand, it is also shown how processes of educational decentralization are often experienced in local communities as a mechanism of increased austerity, privatization and segregation.

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Edited by Annie Guerin and Trish McMenamin

In Belonging: Rethinking Inclusive Practices to Support Well-Being and Identity, issues related to inclusive education and belonging across a range of education contexts from early childhood to tertiary education are examined and matters related to participation, policy and theory, and identity and well-being are explored. Individual chapters, which are drawn from papers presented at The Inclusive Education Summit held at the University of Canterbury, 2016, canvass a variety of topics including pedagogy, sexuality, theory, policy and practice. These topics are explored from the authors’ varying perspectives as practitioners, academics and lay-persons and also from varying international perspectives including New Zealand, South Africa and Australia.

Contributors are: Keith Ballard, Henrietta Bollinger, Hera Cook, Michael Gafffney, Annie Guerin, Fiona Henderson, Leechin Heng, Kate McAnelly, Trish McMenamin, Be Pannell, Christine Rietveld, Marie Turner, Ben Whitburn, Julie White, and Melanie Wong.

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Edited by Sulochini Pather and Roger Slee

It is a fundamental right for all children to be given access to quality education to ensure they reach their full potential as individuals; a right which is reflected in international law in Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and supported by the Education for All Agenda (1990) and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and Optional Protocol (2006). Nation states across Africa have signed up to these protocols and remain committed to ensuring education for all children. The progress globally however in the past 25 years, including in Africa, has been slow (UNESCO, 2015). Questions remain on why this is so and what can be done about it. This book brings together researchers, education policy makers and academics from the African community. What is unique about this text is that it includes local insights narrated and critiqued by local professionals. This book presents a wide range of African countries across the continent, to provide a critical overview of the key issues affecting developments. It questions the origins of ideas and definitions around inclusive education and the impact it has made on policy and ultimately practice, within local socio-cultural and economic communities, both urban and rural. It highlights positive developments as well as challenges and provides a deep understanding of why the process of implementing inclusive education is so complex in the African continent. It provides an understanding of what is needed to develop a more sustainable model of inclusive education across the continent and within specific countries.

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Edited by Lynn A. Bryan and Kenneth Tobin

Critical Issues and Bold Visions for Science Education contains 16 chapters written by 32 authors from 11 countries. The book is intended for a broad audience of teachers, teacher educators, researchers, and policymakers. Interesting perspectives, challenging problems, and fresh solutions grounded in cutting edge theory and research are presented, interrogated, elaborated and, while retaining complexity, offer transformative visions within a context of political tensions, historical legacies, and grand challenges associated with Anthropocene (e.g., sustainability, climate change, mass extinctions).

Within overarching sociocultural frameworks, authors address diverse critical issues using rich theoretical frameworks and methodologies suited to research today and a necessity to make a difference while ensuring that all participants benefit from research and high standards of ethical conduct. The focus of education is broad, encompassing teaching, learning and curriculum in pre-k-12 schools, museums and other informal institutions, community gardens, and cheeseworld. Teaching and learning are considered for a wide range of ages, languages, and nationalities. An important stance that permeates the book is that research is an activity from which all participants learn, benefit, and transform personal and community practices. Transformation is an integral part of research in science education.

Contributors are: Jennifer Adams, Arnau Amat, Lucy Avraamidou, Marcília Elis Barcellos, Alberto Bellocchi, Mitch Bleier, Lynn A. Bryan, Helen Douglass, Colin Hennessy Elliott, Alejandro J. Gallard Martínez, Elisabeth Gonçalves de Souza, Da Yeon Kang, Shakhnoza Kayumova, Shruti Krishnamoorthy, Ralph Levinson, Sonya N. Martin, Jordan McKenzie, Kathy Mills, Catherine Milne, Ashley Morton, Masakata Ogawa, Rebecca Olson, Roger Patulny, Chantal Pouliot, Leah D. Pride, Anton Puvirajah, S. Lizette Ramos de Robles, Kathryn Scantlebury, Glauco S. F. da Silva, Michael Tan, Kenneth Tobin, and Geeta Verma.

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Edited by Peter Duffy, Christine Hatton and Richard Sallis

At a time when universities demand immediate and quantifiable impacts of scholarship, the voices of research participants become secondary to impact factors and the volume of research produced. Moreover, what counts as research within the academy constrains practices and methods that may more authentically articulate the phenomena being studied. When external forces limit methodological practices, research innovation slows and homogenizes.

This book aims to address the methodological, interpretive, ethical/procedural challenges and tensions within theatre-based research with a goal of elevating our field’s research practice and inquiry. Each chapter embraces various methodologies, positionalities and examples of mediation by inviting two or more leading researchers to interrogated each other’s work and, in so doing, highlighted current debates and practices in theatre-based research. Topics include: ethics, method, audience, purpose, mediation, form, aesthetics, voice, data generation, and research participants. Each chapter frames a critical dialogue between researchers that take multiple forms (dialogic interlude, research conversation, dramatic narrative, duologue, poetic exchange, etc.).