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Nordic Voices

Teaching and Researching Comparative and International Education in the Nordic Countries

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Edited by Halla B. Holmarsdottir and Mina O'Dowd

This volume represents the work of sixteen authors, who all work at different universities and other academic institutions in the Nordic countries. It provides insight into the diversity of research being conducted in the northernmost parts of Europe. Although it would be incorrect to assert that research in this far away part of Europe represents something drastically different than that done in other parts of the world, it would be equally incorrect to maintain that being at the outskirts, on the cusp, or on the periphery _ whichever way one wishes to describe the position of the Nordic countries in relation to the rest of the world—does not influence the ways in which educational processes, phenomena and their consequences are viewed.
These sixteen Nordic Voices discuss with readers different issues regarding teaching and researching Comparative and International Education in the Nordic countries. The editors began their collaboration in 2006, working together to revitalize the Nordic Comparative and International Education Society. NOCIES was officially re-established in May, 2008.
Halla B. Holmarsdottir, who is from Iceland, lives and works in Norway, where she is Associate Professor in Multicultural and International Education at Oslo University College.
Mina O’Dowd, whose father is from the USA and mother is Norwegian, lives and works in Sweden. Nordic Voices: Teaching and Researching Comparative and International Education in the Nordic Countries is a result of the collaboration that began over three years ago.

On not being Able to Play

Scholars, Musicians and the Crisis of the Psyche

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Marla Morris

Scholars and musicians from many different backgrounds will find this book helpful as it deals with psychic problems in both professions. This book might help scholars and musicians to find a way out of their psychic dilemmas. From classical musicians to rock stars, from curriculum theorists to music teachers, from anthropologists to philosophers, this book takes the reader through a rocky intellectual terrain to explore what happens when one can no longer play or work. The driving question of the book is this: What do you do when you cannot do what you were called to do? This is what the author calls The Crisis of Psyche. The theoretical framework for this book combines curriculum theory, psychoanalysis and phenomenology. Here, the author looks at issues of emotion and the working through of crisis points in the lives of both scholars and musicians. Psychoanalytic theory helps to flesh out and untangle what it means to suffer from a damaged musical psyche and a damaged scholarly psyche. How to work through psychic inertia as a scholar? How to work through through psychic inertia as a musician? From Pink Floyd to Laurie Anderson, from Marion Milner to William F. Pinar, this book draws on the work of a wide range of musicians and scholars to find a way out of psychic blocks. From Philip Glass to Pablo Casals, from Michael Eigen to Mary Aswell Doll, this book draws on the work of composers, cellists, psychoanalysts and educationists to find a way out of psychic meltdowns.

Organizing the Curriculum

Perspectives on Teaching the US Labor Movement

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Edited by Rob Linné, Leigh Benin and Adrienne Sosin

Contemporary American youth live in a culture that ignores or denigrates labor unions. Mainstream media cover labor issues only sparingly and unions no longer play much of a role in popular culture texts, films, or images. In our schools labor has been limited to a footnote in textbooks instead of being treated seriously as the most effective force for championing the rights of working people—the vast majority of the citizenry. Teachers have been convinced that to bring up class or to teach about the labor movement may be construed as “taking sides,” while the all-pervasive presence of corporate America in our schools is rarely questioned. So for all the talk of schools preparing young people for the work world, we are failing to teach them even the basics of how that world is structured or how they can be empowered through collective action.
Organizing the Curriculum: Perspectives on Teaching the US Labor Movement is the first book-length treatment of this blind spot in contemporary curriculum and pedagogy. Contributors to this collection—unionists, activists, teachers, teacher educators, and academics—interrogate the ways in which knowledge is constructed in school discourses, conceptualize pedagogical strategies and curricula that open discussions around class analysis and political economy via studies of the labor movement, and put forward an activist vision of education that truly engages young people beyond the classroom walls.

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Shirley Wade McLoughlin

With the increasingly techno-rational approach to education causing a sense of hopelessness among educators in both public schools and higher education institutions, alternative pedagogical approaches are needed to provide educators with the means to navigate through oppressive milieus. The author offers her conceptualization of a pedagogy of the blues as such an approach. This work is grounded in the powerful early blues of African Americans, identifying specific themes representative of the blues metaphor that reverberate in the work of early blues artists. Using a predominantly cultural studies lens, the author traces the emergence and evolution of the blues metaphor from pre-slavery Africa’s musical forms to the music of the slaves. She then closely examines the emergence of the blues as a form of popular music in the 1920s. analyzing popular culture representations of the blues artists, historical artifacts, recordings, lyrics of early blues, and other sources of data. From this material, certain themes emerge and are identified as part of the blues metaphor. These themes and their evolution are traced through other forms of popular music, including jazz, country, rhythm and blues, rock, folk, and rap. The author then uses these powerful themes to mold a conceptualization of a pedagogy of the blues, a pedagogical approach that allows educators to hope, to resist, and to transcend the oppressive environments that exist in today’s educational settings.

Poetic Inquiry

Vibrant Voices in the Social Sciences

Edited by Monica Prendergast, Carl Leggo and Pauline Sameshima

Poetic Inquiry: Vibrant Voices in the Social Sciences, co-edited by Monica Prendergast, Carl Leggo and Pauline Sameshima, features many of the foremost scholars working worldwide in aesthetic ways through poetry.
The contributors (from five countries) are all committed to the use of poetry as a way to collect data, analyze findings and represent understandings in multidisciplinary social science qualitative research investigations. The creativity and high aesthetic quality of the contributions found in the collection speak for themselves; they are truly, as the title indicates, "vibrant voices".
This groundbreaking collection will mark new territories in qualitative research and interpretive inquiry practices at an international level. Poetic Inquiry will contribute to many ongoing and energetic debates in arts-based research regarding issues of evaluation, aesthetics, ethics, activism, self-study, and practice-based research, while also spelling out some innovative ways of opening up these debates in creative and productive ways. Instructors and students will find the book a clear and comprehensive introduction to poetic inquiry as a research method.

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Edited by Susan Edwards and Joce Nuttal

Attention has increasingly turned to the preparation and ongoing education of early childhood educators as governments have become increasingly aware of the importance of early childhood education as a key part of educational provision. This collection of case studies in continuing professional learning, drawn from Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, raises important questions about the nature and purpose of continuing professional learning in ECE by drawing on theories broadly described as 'post-developmental', including postmodernism, cultural-historical theory, sociocultural theory, narrativity, and critical theory. This book will provide a valuable addition to the libraries of teacher educators, professional developers, researchers, practitioners, and students of early childhood education. Taken as a whole, the chapters provide key insights into the complexities of how adults learn in, and about, early childhood settings, and examines the possibilites offered by reaching beyond traditional developmental views of teaching in ECE.

The Quest for Meaning

Narratives of Teaching, Learning and the Arts

Edited by Mary Beattie

The Quest for Meaning: Teaching, Learning and the Arts presents a narrative, arts-based approach to pedagogy and research in higher education. Through narratives of experience, the book offers revealing, poignant examples of the transformative power of the arts and of narrative inquiry in learners’ lives, and of the centrality of story in their ongoing quest for meaning.
The Quest for Meaning will be valuable in a wide range of graduate and undergraduate settings. It provides a framework for the development of new pedagogies which integrate the theory and practice of narrative, arts-based approaches to education. The work makes a contribution to the fields of narrative and arts-based inquiry and pedagogy, qualitative research methods, holistic and integrated studies, and self-directed inquiry. It will appeal to a range of audiences who are interested in this creative, integrative approach to education, and who want to gain insights into how students learn, from their own unique perspectives.
Grounded in Dr. Beattie’s interconnected approach to research and pedagogy, the book begins with her own story of teaching, learning, research and the arts. This provides the backdrop to an account of a collaborative pedagogy designed to enable students to conduct in-depth narrative inquiries into their lives, and to learn how to do narrative, arts-based research with others. The author provides insights into the practices and processes of solitary and collaborative inquiry, and the interaction and integration that take place within the three kinds of dialogue she proposes; the dialogue with the self, the dialogue with others, and the dialogue between the dialogues.
The book’s other twelve narratives show from learners’ unique perspectives, how the creation and re-creation of their ways of ways of knowing and being is a distinctively individual process involving all aspects of their humanity. Individually, these narratives provide valuable glimpses into the challenges, the joys, the frustrations and emotionality, and the important personal satisfactions involved in the processes of learning, unlearning and re-learning. In their own voices, these learners tell of the diverse ways in which they became more responsive to their own inner lives, to the perspectives and understandings of others, and to the creation of more meaningful narratives for their current and future lives.
Collectively, the narratives highlight the importance of recognizing personal experience in settings of higher education. They also present compelling evidence for acknowledging the significance of inquiry, creativity, imagination, dialogue, interaction, and integration in enabling learners to bring the whole of their being to the learning process, to the exploration of the stories by which they live, and to the creation of new narratives for their future lives.

Reclaiming Dissent

Civics Education for the 21st Century

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Edited by Mordechai Gordon

Reclaiming Dissent is a unique collection of essays that focus on the value of dissent for the survival of democracy in the United States and the role that education can play with respect to this virtue. The various contributors to this volume share the conviction that the vitality of a democracy depends on the ability of ordinary citizens to debate and oppose the decisions of their government. Yet recent history in the United States suggests that dissent is discouraged and even suppressed in the political, cultural and educational arenas. Many Americans are not even aware that democracy is not primarily about voting every four years or majority rule, but about actively participating in public debates and civic action. This book makes a strong case for the need to reclaim a tradition in the United States, like the one that existed during the Civil Rights Era, in which dissent, opposition, and conflict were part of the daily fabric of our democracy. Teacher educators, teacher candidates, new teachers, and educators in general can greatly benefit from reading this book.

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Tony Gibbons

The word ‘reflect’ appears in curriculum documents, in texts, in proposals, and in plans. No proposal appears complete without the word. To reflect is evidently a good thing, but what does it mean? It is not just being reasonable. Without a grasp of what it means to reflect how is it possible to implement the proposals and plans? This book tackles the problem of what it is to reflect. In doing so it examines the importance of reflection for a flourishing human being and its place in two major areas of human thought and education—science and ethics. Science is essentially a reflective activity and the teaching and development of science must acknowledge this. The acquisition and practice of the virtues is also essentially a reflective activity as is evident in both the Aristotelian and the Confucian traditions. To be prudent, for instance, is to be reflective. The teaching of science and the learning of the virtues depend upon the development of the capacity to reflect. Reflection appears to be an activity that is distinctive of human beings. This book will be of interest to teachers and those responsible for the administration and development of education, whether it be primary, secondary or tertiary. It also has something to say to anyone who is responsible for planning for the future. And, as we all do that, it has something to say to all of us.
Tony Gibbons is an adjunct Senior Lecturer at the University of South Australia. After teaching science and mathematics in UK secondary schools, he trained teachers at Colleges in the UK before moving to South Australia where he taught Philosophy. Having qualified in law he appeared as a barrister in refugee cases both in Australia and overseas during the 1990s, before returning to Philosophy, in particular, virtue ethics.

Reforming Teaching and Learning

Comparative Perspectives in a Global Era

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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.