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Artistic Mentoring as a Decolonizing Methodology

An Evolving 18-year Collaborative Painting Ethnography with Maya Artists

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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: An Evolving 18-year Collaborative Painting Ethnography with Maya Artists 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, used both Indigenous and decolonizing methodologies, which involve respectful collaboration, and continuously reexamined 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.

Globalization and the Neoliberal Schoolhouse

Education in a World of Trouble

John L. Lyons

Critical questions of purpose, quality, choice, and access in public education have been key in processes of neo liberal globalization spanning the last four decades. The growing privatization of schools around the world has resulted in fundamental changes regarding the ways in which local systems of education are imagined and re-constructed. Schools and schooling are now increasingly (re)fashioned in alignment with global neo liberal imaginaries for the purpose of (re)producing human capital in the service of private interests. As a result, education for social betterment and democratic engagement, two pillars of public school policies throughout the 20th century, are compromised, even undermined.

Employing models and research findings from critical international political economy and progressive education, Globalization and the Neo Liberal Schoolhouse: Education in a World of Trouble explores the corrosive influences of commodification and privatization on public education worldwide, within the context of crisis-ridden neo liberal globalization and expanding global capitalist governance. The consequences are nation-state de-evolution, social and cultural decay, and the forfeiture of public schools as engines of progress.

Understanding how the historical emergence, political economic processes, and governing institutions of neo liberal globalization are adversely impacting local systems of education – and what to do about it – is important to free education advocates, civic-minded educators, student teachers, social activists, and education development specialists everywhere!

Share Engage Educate

SEEding Change for a Better World

Vinesh Chandra

There are no doubts that our world is becoming increasingly more connected through digital technologies. For meaningful participation in this environment, our children 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. However, many schools in these communities are under resourced. They do not have 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. However, critical pedagogy is still struggling to find its meaningful place, particularly in higher education. This is largely due to the lack of effective models and critical educators.

This book 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 the local communities to enhance the quality of education for 15,000 to 20,000 children in these schools. The book showcases how critical pedagogy can unfold in the real world and how we can collaboratively make a difference.

Mentoring Students of Color

Naming the Politics of Race, Social Class, Gender, and Power

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Edited by Juan F. Carrillo, Danielle Parker Moore and Timothy Condor

As more students of color continue to make up our nation’s schools, finding ways to address their academic and cultural ways knowing become important issues. This book explores these intersections, by covering a variety of topics related to race, social class, and gender, all within a multiyear study of a mentoring program that is situated within U.S. K-12 schools. Furthermore, the role of power is central to the analyses as the contributors examine questions, tensions, and posit overall critical takes on mentoring. Finally, suggestions for designing critical and holistic programming are provided.

Contributors are: Shanyce L. Campbell, Juan F. Carrillo, Tim Conder, Dana Griffin, Alison LaGarry, George Noblit, Danielle Parker Moore, Esmeralda Rodriguez, and Amy Senta.

Ellen A. Brantlinger

When Meaning Falters and Words Fail, Ideology Matters

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Edited by Linda Ware and Roger Slee

Ellen A. Brantlinger: When Meanings Falter and Words Fail, Ideology Matters celebrates the work of and is dedicated to the memory of Ellen A. Brantlinger, a scholar-activist who spent most of her professional career as a professor of special education at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana in the United States of America. Ellen was recognized internationally as an educator and critical theorist and celebrated for her incisive and unyielding critique of special education research, policy, and practice that spanned several decades. Brantlinger held that the impoverished nature of special education theory and practice was rooted to conformance with the most rigid constructs of standardization, normalcy, and its resulting inequitable outcomes for children with disabilities. When the push for educational inclusion gained currency in some quarters in the United States (mid-1980s), Brantlinger was among a handful of scholars who identified special education as the major obstacle to the inclusion of disabled students in the educational system. She was widely published in North American journals well known in special education, teacher education, multicultural education, sociology of education, urban education, school counseling, curriculum theory, qualitative education, and feminist teaching. This book offers an elaboration of the scholarly contributions made by Ellen Brantlinger to research in education, special education, inclusive education, and the early development of Disability Studies in Education. Many of its contributors move between the paradigmatic locations of special education, inclusive education, and disability studies as they consider Ellen’s influence.

Contributors are: Julie Allan, Subini A. Annamma, Jessica Bacon, Alicia A. Broderick, Kathleen M. Collins, David J. Connor, Dianne L. Ferguson, Philip M. Ferguson, Amy L. Ferrel, Beth Ferri, Joanne Kim, Janette Klingner, Corrine Li, Brooke A. Moore, Emily A. Nusbaum, and Janet S. Sauer.

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James Trier

Guy Debord, the Situationist International, and the Revolutionary Spirit presents a history of the two avant-garde groups that French filmmaker and subversive strategist Guy Debord founded and led: the Lettrist International (1952–1957) and the Situationist International (1957–1972). Debord is popularly known for his classic book The Society of the Spectacle (1967), but his masterwork is the Situationist International (SI), which he fashioned into an international revolutionary avant-garde group that orchestrated student protests at the University of Strasbourg in 1966, contributed to student unrest at the University of Nanterre in 1967–1968, and played an important role in the occupations movement that brought French society to a standstill in May of 1968.

The book begins with a brief history of the Lettrist International that explores the group’s conceptualization and practice of the critical anti-art practice of détournement, as well as the subversive spatial practices of the dérive, psychogeography, and unitary urbanism. These practices, which became central to the Situationist International, anticipated many contemporary cultural practices, including culture jamming, critical media literacy, and critical public pedagogy. This book follows up the edited book Détournement as Pedagogical Praxis (Sense Publishers, 2014), and together they offer readers, particularly those in the field of Education, an introduction to the history, concepts, and critical practices of a group whose revolutionary spirit permeates contemporary culture, as can be seen in the political actions of Pussy Riot in Russia, the “yellow vest” protesters in France, the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and the striking teachers and student protesters on campuses throughout the U.S.

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Edited by Anila Zainub

Decolonization and Anti-colonial Praxis presents research on contemporary forms of decolonization and anti-colonialism in practice. It pertains to the ways in which individuals, groups, and communities engage with the logic of epistemic colonial power within areas of citizenship, migration, education, Indigeneity, language, land struggle, and social work. The contributions in this edited volume empirically document the conceptual and bodily engagement of racialized and violated individuals and communities as they use anti-colonial principles to disrupt criminalizing institutional discourses and policies within various global imperial contexts.

The terms ‘Decolonization’ and ‘Anti-colonialism’ are used in diverse and interdisciplinary academic perspectives. They are researched upon and elaborated in necessary ways in the theoretical literature, however, it is rare to see these principles employed in applied forms. Decolonization and Anti-colonial Praxis provides a much needed contemporary and representative reclamation of these concepts from the standpoint of racialized communities. It explores the frameworks and methods rooted in their indigeneity, cultural history and memories to imagine a new future. The research findings and methodological tools presented in this book will be of interdisciplinary interest to teachers, graduate students and researchers.

Contributors are: Harriet Akanmori, Ayah Al Oballi, Sevgi Arslan, Jacqueline Benn-John, Lucy El-Sherif, Danielle Freitas, Pablo Isla Monsalve, Dionisio Nyaga, Hoda Samater, Rose Ann Torres, Umar Umangay, and Anila Zainub. 

The High Stakes of Testing

Exploring Student Experience with Standardized Assessment through Governmentality

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Amy L. Kelly

Standardized assessments have long been part of the educative experience for students around the world. The high-stakes nature of these tests can have damaging and enduring effects for public school systems, particularly the youth. With the adoption of Common Core State Standards and mandated state-wide accountability measures, high-stakes tests, like the PARCC, gained quick and controversial notoriety.

The high-stakes discourse has been dominated by politicians, educators, and parents. Notably absent from this dialogue are the voices of those whom are impacted the most: students. Largely influenced by Critical Pedagogy, this research sheds light on the negative, punitive, and often arbitrary nature of testing in schools. The paramount intention of this publication is to raise awareness of student experiences and perspectives of standardized testing.

The High Stakes of Testing analyzes the experiences, relationships, thoughts, ideas, and opinions students have with standardized assessment measures. Interviews with seven students in Grades 3, 5, and 8 are examined through a governmentality lens to reveal the ways in which the youth are manipulated, regulated, and disciplined to view standardized testing as a natural part of what it means to be a public-school student. It is only when we can begin to see and appreciate how our youth interact with the omnipresent testing in our public schools can we begin to envision changing these accountability practices.

The Critical Media Literacy Guide

Engaging Media and Transforming Education

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Douglas Kellner and Jeff Share

Over half the world’s population is now online, interconnected through a globally-networked media and consumer society. The convergence of information, media, and technology has created the predominant ecosystem of our time. Yet, most educational institutions are still teaching what and how they have for centuries, and are thus increasingly out-of-date and out-of-touch with our current needs. The Critical Media Literacy Guide: Engaging Media and Transforming Education provides a theoretical framework and practical applications for educators and teacher education programs to transform education by putting critical media literacy into action in classrooms with students from kindergarten to university. Douglas Kellner and Jeff Share lay out the evolution of thinking and development of media and cultural studies, from the Frankfurt School to current intersectional theories about information and power that highlight the importance of race, gender, class, and sexuality. They provide insightful and accessible entry into theorizing education and information communication technologies through linking the politics of representation with critical pedagogy.

The increase in fake news, alternative facts, bots, and trolls, challenge our abilities to judge credibility and recognize bias. Kellner and Share present a critical lens and strategies to contextualize and analyze the dominant ideologies going viral across social media platforms and disseminated globally from enormous transnational corporations. The Critical Media Literacy Guide is a powerful resource to analyze and challenge representations and narratives of multiple forms of identity, privilege, and oppression. Since the struggle for social justice and democracy require new theories and pedagogies to maneuverer the constantly changing terrain, this book is essential for all educators.

Understanding Israel/Palestine

Race, Nation, and Human Rights in the Conflict (Second Edition)

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Eve Spangler

The Israeli/Palestinian conflict is the longest on-going hot-and-cold war in the 20th and 21st century. In this book the author argues that human rights standards are the key to a just and sustainable solution and that, tragically, no one has ever made serious use of them in trying to end the conflict. The reader will have a comprehensive view of the conflict, its relationship to surrounding world events, and its similarities to and differences from other conflicts, especially those embedded in American race relations.