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Paolo Euron

This book introduces the reader to the literary work and to an understanding of its cultural background and its specific features. In doing so, it refers to two main traditions of Western culture: one of aesthetics and the theory of art and the other of literary theory. In our postmodern world, language and artistic creation (and above all literature as the art of language) occupy a special role in understanding of the human world and become existential issues. A critical attitude requires knowledge of the relevant past in order to understand what we are today. The author presents key topics, ideas, and representatives of aesthetics, theory, and the interpretation of works of art in an historical perspective, in order to explain the Western tradition with constant attention to the present condition.

Aesthetics, Theory and Interpretation of the Literary Work offers an outline of essential concepts and authors of aesthetics and theories of the literary work, presenting basic topics and ideas in their historical context and development, considering their relevance to the contemporary debate, and highlighting the specificity of the experience of the art work in our present world. The best way to approach a work of art is to enjoy it. In order to enjoy a literary work, we have to consider its correct context and its specific artistic qualities. Aesthetics, Theory and Interpretation of the Literary Work is conceived as a general and enjoyable introduction to the experience of the work of art in Western culture.

Critical Collaborative Communities

Academic Writing Partnerships, Groups, and Retreats

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Edited by Nicola Simmons and Ann Singh

Writing comprises a significant proportion of academic staff members’ roles. While academics have been acculturated to the notion of ‘publish or perish,’ they often struggle to find the time to accomplish writing papers and tend to work alone. The result can be a sense of significant stress and isolation around the writing process. Writing partnerships, groups, and retreats help mitigate these challenges and provide significant positive writing experiences for their members.

Critical Collaborative Communities describes diverse examples of partnerships from writing regularly with one or two colleagues to larger groups that meet for a single day, regular writing meetings, or a retreat over several days. While these approaches bring mutual support for members, each is not without its respective challenges. Each chapter outlines an approach to writing partnerships and interrogates its strengths and limitations as well as proposes recommendations for others hoping to the implement the practice. Authors in this volume describe how they have built significant trusting relationships that have helped avoid isolation and have led to their self-authorship as academic writers.

Partnership in Higher Education

Trends between African and European Institutions

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Edited by Emnet Tadesse Woldegiorgis and Christine Scherer

Trends in institutional partnership in higher education have shown tremendous growth in the past three decades. These trends in higher education are manifested through the growing initiatives of joint programs that promote collaborative research, academic mobility, joint curriculum developments and course delivery, joint bidding for development projects and benchmarking. Partnerships in higher education have been used not only as an instrument for institutional development through a wide range of strategic alliances but also as essential ways of introducing new voices to the operations of the universities by initiating new paradigms that bring new perspectives and bear competitive advantage on the partners. As the trend of partnership in higher education grew, scholars in higher education studies have also engaged in conceptualizing higher education partnership from academic venture providing perspectives, analyzing trends and developing models of higher education collaborations. Partnership in Higher Education: Trends between African and European Institutions is a pioneer bringing a comprehensive perspective on matters of higher education partnership among African and European institutions pressing important policy and practical issues. It discusses the ongoing debates on higher education partnership and internationalization strategies providing empirical insights from various case studies.

Kolawole Samuel Adeyemo

Globalisation has brought a number of regional cooperation, collaboration, partnership and networking initiatives among different countries. The regionalisation of higher education or its initiators have used different terms to define their objectives. For Asian higher education, this relationship has extended beyond the broader idea of higher education cooperation for instance, to include different networks and agreements within region and outside region on matters related to research, student mobility and quality assurance among Asian countries and between Asia and other countries that share a similar vision on education.

This book examines and analyses the status of education policy in the Philippines and, more particularly, focuses on the issue of the integration of higher education in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It further examines ASEAN integration policies and what the Philippines could do to underpin these policies. The objective is to better understand the problems of global policy in the context of regionalisation, harmonisation and integration from both an ASEAN and a Philippine perspective. Prospective mechanisms of ASEAN for upgrading the quality of education provision through student mobility, staff exchange, regional accreditation and articulation are succinctly argued in this book. Methodologically, various research designs and methods, including a literature review, as a well as an empirical data and secondary data analysis were used. ASEAN leaders, higher education researchers and policymakers may find the results discussed in this book useful.

Mid-Career Faculty

Trends, Barriers, and Possibilities

Edited by Anita G. Welch, Jocelyn Bolin and Daniel Reardon

At a time when higher education institutions in the United States are the subject of increased media scrutiny and nearly continuous loss of funding by resource-strapped state legislatures, a greater understanding of higher education’s bulwark resource—mid-career research and teaching faculty—is more important than ever. Faculty at mid-career comprise the largest segment of academia. For some, this is a time of significant productivity and creativity, yet for others, it is a time of disillusionment and stagnation. Revealing impediments and pathways to faculty job satisfaction and productivity will strengthen higher education institutions by protecting, fostering, and maintaining this vital workforce. In this collection we will explore the lives of mid-career faculty as our authors uncover the complexities in this stage of professional life and discuss support systems for the transition into this period of faculties’ academic careers.

Mid-Career Faculty: Trends, Barriers, and Possibilities is designed for faculty leaders, administration, policymakers, and anyone concerned with the future of higher education. This text offers an examination into an often overlooked period of academic life, that of post-tenure mid-career faculty. Therefore, the aim of this text is to deepen our understanding of the lives of mid-career faculty, to identify barriers that impede job advancement and satisfaction, and to offer suggestions for changes to current policy and practice in higher education.

Contributors are: Joyce Alexander, Michael Bernard-Donals, Pradeep Bhardwaj, Kimberly Buch, Javier Cavazos, Jay R. Dee, Anne M. DeFelippo, Andrea Dulin, Jeremiah Fisk, Carrie Graham, Debbie L. Hahs-Vaughn, Florencio Eloy Hernandez, Yvette Huet, Jane McLeod, Jennifer McGarry, Maria L. Morales, Eliza Pavalko, Laura Plummer, Mandy Rispoli, Amanda J. Rockinson-Szapkiw, J. Blake Scott, Michael Terwillegar, Jenna Thomas and Claudia Vela.

Research and Development in School

Grounded in Cultural Historical Activity Theory

May Britt Postholm

Research and Development in School: Grounded in Cultural Historical Activity Theory intends to give student teachers, teachers and school leaders research knowledge about which methodologies (research approaches) and methods (data collection and analysis methods) they can use as tools when researching the day-to-day affairs of school and classroom practice. Cultural historical activity theory (CHAT) is presented as the framework. When grounded in CHAT the intention of the research will be to produce useful knowledge whether the aim is to promote development when the research is conducted or incoming development processes. The text is useful in connection with CHAT-informed development work research (DWR), where development work and research are combined in a common project, and in connection with on-going practices in school without the person studying them supporting the on-going development work there and then, but with the intention and understanding that the constructed knowledge can be used in subsequent development processes. This book is also useful for teacher educators/researchers who supervise student teachers or collaborate with practitioners in schools. The wish is that CHAT and its models will be able to contribute to the development processes we want to see in school, which in turn will promote the pupils’ learning outcome.

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.

Practice Wisdom

Values and Interpretations

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Edited by Joy Higgs

Practice wisdom is needed because the challenges people face in life, work and society are not simple and require more than knowledge, actions and decision making capabilities. In professional practice wisdom enhances people’s capacity to succeed and evolve and to assist their clients in achieving positive, relevant and satisfying outcomes.

Practice Wisdom: Values and Interpretations brings diverse views and interpretations to an exploration of what wisdom in professional practice means and can become: academically, practically and inspirationally. The authors reflect on core dimensions of practice wisdom like ethics, mindfulness, moral virtue, particularisation and metacognition. The chapter authors tackle the trials that practice wisdom seekers encounter including the demand for resilience, perseverance, finding credibility and humility in practice wisdom, and linking wisdom into evidence for sound professional decision making. Readers are invited to consider what the place of practice wisdom encompasses in pursuing good practice outcomes amidst the turmoil and pressure of professional practice today. Do the imperatives of evidence-based practice and accountability leave enough space for wise practice or is wisdom seen by modern practice worlds as unnecessary, antiquated, unrealistic and redundant? Without a doubt these questions are answered positively in this book in support of the place and value of practice wisdom in professional practice today.

Culture and Environment

Weaving New Connections

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Edited by David B. Zandvliet

The inspiration for this book arose out of a large international conference: the ninth World Environmental Education Congress (WEEC) organized under the theme of Culture/Environment. Similarly, the theme for this book focuses on the Culture/Environment nexus. The book is divided into two parts: Part 1 consists of a series of research studies from an eclectic selection of researchers from all corners of the globe. Part 2 consists of a series of case studies of practice selected from a wide diversity of K-Postsecondary educators. The intent behind these selections is to augment and highlight the diversity of both cultural method and cultural voice in our descriptions of environmental education practice. The chapters focus on a multi-disciplinary view of Environmental Education with a developing view that Culture and Environment may be inseparable and arise from and within each other. Cultural change is also a necessary condition, and a requirement, to rebuild and reinvent our relationship with nature and to live more sustainably. The chapters address the spirit of supporting our praxis, and are therefore directed towards both an educator and researcher audience. Each chapter describes original research or curriculum development work.

Rich Pickings

Creative Professional Development Activities for University Lecturers

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Daphne Loads

Rich Pickings: Creative Professional Development Activities for University Teachers offers both inspiration and practical advice for academics who want to develop their teaching in ways that go beyond the merely technical, and for the academic developers who support them. Advocating active engagement with literary and nonliterary texts as one way of prompting deep thinking about teaching practice and teacher identities, Daphne Loads shows how to read poems, stories, academic papers and policy documents in ways that stay with the physicality of words: how they sound, how they look on the page or the screen, how they feel in the mouth. She invites readers to bring into play associations, allusions, memories and insights, to examine their own ways of meaning making and to ask what all of this means for their development as teachers. Bringing together scholarship and experiential activities, the author challenges both academics and academic developers to reject narrowly instrumental approaches to professional development; bring teachers and teaching into view, in contrast with misguided interpretations of student-centredness that tend to erase them from the picture; claim back literary writings as a source of wisdom and insight; trust readers’ responses; and reintroduce beauty and joy into university teaching that has come to be perceived as bleak and unfulfilling.

This book does not attempt to construct a single, coherent argument but rather to indicate a range of good things to choose from. Readers are encouraged to explore the overlaps and the gaps.