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Dilemmas and Decisions

A Critical Addition to the Curriculum

Series:

Patrick F. Miller

In Dilemmas and Decisions the author argues that dilemmas, medical, political and personal are clearly universal, requiring decisions with a painful choice. Nevertheless, we are witnessing an increasing tendency amongst opinion leaders, from management consultants to religious fundamentalists, to inform us that dilemmas either do not really exist or are merely problems awaiting the “right” solution (which they happen to possess).

Such moral certainty is dangerously mistaken, breeding extremism and undermining democratic values. Education can become a kind of preparation for Multiple Choice Question-type exams or TV quizzes, with facts recalled under pressure of time and problems needing fast solutions.

Problems, however, are different from dilemmas; they have solutions and disappear as soon as these are found. Dilemmas leave you with an aftertaste and a sense of regret about the rejected alternative.

Die offene Frage der Mündigkeit

Studien zur Politizität der Bildung

Series:

Carsten Bünger

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.

Reforming Teaching and Learning

Comparative Perspectives in a Global Era

Series:

Edited by Maria Teresa Tatto and Monica Mincu

This volume addresses the larger question of the effects of (global) educational reform on teaching and learning as they relate to the context, the policies and politics where reform occurs.
Maria Teresa Tatto and Monica Mincu bring together a group of leading scholars in the field representing a variety of national contexts and geographical areas. The chapters in the book raise crucial questions such as: What is the impact of globalization on local education systems and traditions? What roles do international agencies play? What is the role of the state? What is the role of policy networks? How do we understand the functions of quality assurance mechanisms, standards, competencies, and the “new” accountability? In doing so the chapters discuss the institutions and organization of education and how these shape what teachers learn and, eventually, teach to diverse populations.
The book uses a number of analytical frameworks and theoretical perspectives, from critical discourse analysis, regime theory, empirical exploration of teachers’ thinking and actions within school contexts, analysis of reform diffusion and global trends. Using analysis of the literature and relevant documents, case studies and diverse forms of survey research, this work offers a glimpse of the complexities that exist in the fields of teaching and learning.
This collection is also an occasion to observe the profile of knowledge production in these cultural contexts, the interplay between local and national research agendas and traveling policies around the world.

Series:

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”.

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.

The Destructive Path of Neoliberalism

An International Examination of Education

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Edited by Brad Porfilio and Curry Malott

The Destructive Path of Neoliberalism: An International Examination, a compilation of twelve essays by leading scholars and educators, sheds light on the social, political, economic, and historical forces behind the rise of neoliberalism, the dominant ideological doctrine impacting developments in schools and other social contexts across the globe for over thirty years. Several authors provide rich empirical data from schools across the globe to capture how neoliberal imperatives, discourses, and practices are impacting teachers, students, and communities at today’s historical juncture. Finally, several contributors have developed pedagogical initiatives, suggest policy considerations, and convey theoretical insights designed to assist us in the struggle against the corporatization of schooling and social life.

Education for Innovation

Implications for India, China and America

Edited by Robert L. DeHaan and K.M. Venkat Narayan

In Education for Innovation: Implications for India, China and America, distinguished thought leaders explore cutting-edge questions such as: Can inventiveness and ingenuity be taught and nurtured in schools and colleges? What are the most effective educational strategies to promote these abilities? How are vibrant economies driven by innovation? What is the relationship between education for innovation and national competitiveness or economic development?
Focusing on the Worlds’ three most populous countries and largest economies, this book provides a forum for international experts to address a range of critically important issues related to higher education and its role in creating innovative societies.
A wide diversity of educators, policymakers and corporate representatives who are dependent on innovation as the well-spring of their success will benefit from the perspectives provided by this volume. The contributors’ critical analyses will be of value to higher education faculty and administrators; government officials interested in innovation, education policy, and national economic and workforce development; CEOs and other officials from the online education community and high tech corporate industries. Recent focus in all three countries on higher education as a resource for national economic advancement makes the book especially timely.

Educational Change in South Africa

Reflections on Local Realities, Practices, and Reforms

Edited by Everard Weber

The literature on Educational Change has been dominated by research published in the established, liberal democracies. This volume examines Educational Change in South Africa, a country undergoing rapid social and political change, and situated geographically, historically and culturally in the South. What are the meanings and processes of change? How do we explain the contours and contexts of change? What has changed? What has remained the same?

Series:

Edited by D.W. Livingstone, Kiran Mirchandani and Peter Sawchuk

Concern with learning throughout life has become pervasive in market-driven societies. Will most workers need to become more continuous learners in a new knowledge-based economy or will much of their learning be ignored or devalued in relation to their work? These papers critically assess dominant views of learning and work. The book is unique in examining changing relations between learning and work in terms of unpaid work and informal learning as well as paid employment and formal education. The book is organized in terms of five basic themes. GENERAL PERSPECTIVES assesses learning and work relations in the “new economy” in terms of different concepts of learning and work and contending theories of education-employment relations. SOCIAL JUSTICE looks at uneven dislocating effects of globalization on gender discrimination in information technology work, working conditions in the public sector, student transitions to work, and disability in work and learning. PRECARIOUS EMPLOYMENT analyzes the general working conditions and learning constraints of temporary, part-time workers, with a particular focus on call centre and garment workers. APPRENTICESHIPS offers an international review of the nature and future trajectory of apprenticeship systems and a case study of the challenges of a high school trades preparation program. MULTIPLE LITERACIES identifies needed abilities including coping with diverse cultures, languages and environmental change, as well as use of information technologies.
The material in this volume emerges from the conference on “The Future of Lifelong Learning and Work” held at the University of Toronto in June, 2005. This conference was one of the cluminating efforts of the Work and Lifelong Learning international research network based in Canada. The contributions were produced by members of this network as well as associates of the Centre for the Study of Education and Work at OISE/UT, and are complemented by the work of selected, leading international voices in the field of learning and work.