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Shaping Education and Communication in Knowledge Society
The theme of Collective Capacity Building (CCB) is a comprehensive one, resonating with the complexity of the knowledge society. Such complexity requires contributions of a wide range of scientists, for a multidimensional understanding. Thus, philosophers, economists, educationalists, sociologists, political scientists, psychologists, scientists from Romania, Germany, Spain, Serbia, Greece, Cyprus, Latvia and Sweden have come together in Collective Capacity Building: Shaping Education and Communication in Knowledge Society. Their choice to discuss current societal challenges in different fields, in a transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary manner, illustrates how communication, education, interaction, identity, science, professionalization and others are (re)shaped nowadays.

As it is increasingly evident that the challenges of a knowledge-based society are more resilient to traditional approaches and the new focus is on how to regulate new skills and capacities, the contributions propose a more stimulating reflection and dialogue on how CCB can foster progress in some of the most intricate educational, social, cultural, geopolitical and economic issues today. In light of this, the contributors have addressed the following questions: How can we define collaboration in communication and educational theory and practice? What are the tools and the rules adopted by CCB in various practical contexts? How can researchers develop their theoretical perspective on CCB after their thorough investigation of current and complex educational issues and societal challenges?
This text explores the re-assertion of right-wing populist and fascist ideologies as presented and distributed in the media. In particular, attacks on immigrants, women, minorities, and LGBTQI people are increasing, inspired by the election of politicians who openly support authoritarian discourse and scapegoating. More troubling is how this discourse is inscribed into laws and policies.

Despite the urgency of the situation, the Left has been unable to effectively respond to these events, from liberals insisting on hands-off free speech policies, including covering "both sides of the issue" to socialists who utilize a tunnel vision focus on economic issues at the expense of women and minorities. In order to effectively resist right-wing movements of this magnitude, a socialist/Marxist feminist analysis is necessary for understanding how racism, sexism, and homophobia are conduits for capitalism, not just ‘identity issues.’

Topics addressed in this text include an overview of dialectical materialist feminism and its relevance and a review of characteristics of authoritarian populism and fascism. Additionally, the insistence on a colorblind conceptualization of the working class is critiqued, with its detrimental effects on moving resistance and activism forward. This was a key weakness with the Bernie Sanders campaign, which is discussed. Online environments and their alt-right discourse/function are used as an example of the ineffectiveness of e-libertarianism, which has prioritized hands-off administration, allowing right-wing discourse to overcome many online spaces. Other topics include the emergence of the fetal personhood construct in response to abortion rights, and the rejection of science and expertise.
Relevant Prose and Postscripts
Teachers are not automatons. An educator’s personal values, concerns, and aspirations cannot be cleaved from one’s professional life without impacting the quality and relevance of the teaching experience. This book examines spaces where the personal and professional intersect, thereby deepening our understanding of the nuances and complexities of a teacher’s work. It draws readers into places of vulnerability—moments of grieving. As a teacher’s curriculum—as a curriculum of life—grief has much to teach about sympathy, compassion, and resilience.

Educational philosophy, literary analysis, and reflective practice are used to explore ways grief can help us better ascertain the scope and depth of the educators we are and have the potential to become. Pieces of literature used include works by Pat Conroy, Charles Dickens, Stephen King, Rabindranath Tagore, Virgil, Franz Wedekind, and Virginia Woolf. Also included are ideas from a diverse set of educational philosophers, social and cultural commentators, poets, and more. Chapters conclude with "Topics for Reflection" for further individual and/or collective reflection and discourse.

Educators at all stages of their careers will benefit from this study that demonstrates the impact personal grieving can have on remembering, recovering, and reidentifying with one’s mission and vision. As a resource for pre-service or veteran teachers, the text celebrates the power of introspection to transform our work, our lives, and the lives of our students. It is equally relevant for parents, coaches, mentors, and anyone who takes on the kinds of teacher roles that impact, nourish, and inspire the lives of others.

The Lifelong Pursuit to Build the Scientific Mind
Editors: Jan Visser and Muriel Visser
The quest to understand defines our humanness. Since time immemorial it has given rise to art and literature, philosophical reflection, religious practice, myths, metaphor, and allegory, as well as, in more recent history, disciplined scientific inquiry. Seeking understanding is a lifelong journey towards a goal the parameters of which change as our pursuit progresses, until, at life’s end, the goal vanishes beyond the horizon. Such is humanness. Along the way, we build, in an enduring self-transformative fashion, our mind—the scientific mind. But what is that mind?

A transdisciplinary team of 21 prominent authors, from areas such as music history, psychiatry, physics, cosmology, education, astronomy, mathematics, medicine, gaming, artificial intelligence, science communication, early child development, science education, and economics, shed light on what it takes humans to build and cultivate the scientific mind along the lifespan. A decade of intercultural dialogue preceded the book. It comprised six major international Building the Scientific Mind colloquia in culturally diverse settings that spanned the entire planet. Several hundred people from different disciplines and interests—among them distinguished scientists, policy and decision makers, practitioners and thinkers—contributed to the dialogue.

Building the scientific mind transforms our ‘way of being in the world.’ It is driven by the desire to understand deeply—cognitively and affectively—who we are in a world of which we are an integral part. It has great relevance for sustained human existence in the Anthropocene and profound implications for how we organize the conditions for informal and formal learning.
Critical Storytelling in Urban Education shares poems and stories written by college students attending Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. The poets and storytellers in this gripping volume address challenges they have faced: issues of sexual abuse, racial politics, cultural identity, stigmatization of marginalized communities, immigration, and other forms of struggle within and outside of urban educational settings. They are students in Education, Communication Studies, Business, and English, among other disciplines. Academic writing has been frequently reserved to professors and doctoral students. This collection is different in that the writing of undergraduate and master students is featured. In a world of unrest, strife, and division, critical stories are sacrosanct.
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 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. The book is conceived as a general and enjoyable introduction to the experience of the work of art in Western culture.
Glocal Voices and Visions
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.
A Post-Constructivist Perspective on Education, Learning, and Development
In this book, the author presents a major challenge to (social) constructivism, which has become an ideology that few dare to critique. Transgressing the boundaries of this ideology, the author develops an alternative epistemology that takes dwelling as the starting point and ground. Dwelling enables building and thinking (‘constructing’). It is an epistemology in which there is a primacy of social relations, which are the first instantiations of the higher psychological functions ascribed to humans. Starkly contrasting constructivism, the author shows how the commonness of the senses and the existence of social relations lead to common sense, which is the foundation of everything rational and scientific. Common sense, which comes from and with dwelling, is the ground in which all education is rooted. Any attempt to eradicate it literally uproots and thus alienates students from the life and world with which they are so familiar.
His Faith, Spirituality, and Theology
Paulo Freire (1921—1997) is well known around the world for his innovative educational philosophy, which has led many to consider him the “father” of both critical pedagogy and popular education. What is less known about Freire, however, is that his politics and pedagogy were informed by a faith birthed in Roman Catholicism, but which also challenged the church to move beyond individual piety to prophetic action. Freire’s spirituality was rooted in the conviction that God calls all people of goodwill to work toward fulfilling the vision of a new humanity given by God. To that end, this book—one of the first of its kind discussing Freire—examines the spirituality that was foundational to his life and teaching, inviting all who have been influenced by Freire to consider the deeper spiritual dimensions of their pedagogical and political work.
In a time when it seems like we've run into the limits on what Marx, Dewey, and Freud might hold for liberatory critique, this peculiarly uplifting book seeks to identify some promising thinking and teaching practices, especially for work in our contemporary “corporate university of excellence.” With auto-ethnography as a baseline for reflection on her personal teaching life in this troubling political era, as well as an insistence that all students are future teachers whether they seek formal work in classrooms or not, Barbara Regenspan selects insights descending from her horribly imperfect trinity (Marx, Dewey, and Freud), to revaluate what it means to have “obligations to unknowable others” in our complex and global reality. Drawing on an interdisciplinary cast of contemporary social theorists such as Avery Gordon, Deborah Britzman, Maxine Greene, Bill Readings, and Alain Badiou, this book traces hauntagogical thinking and related classroom practice—hauntagogy—pedagogy aimed to create wide-awakeness through the unearthing of acts of historical and interpersonal hauntings. Balanced between critique and hope, Regenspan offers the field of Educational Studies including teacher education, but also higher education more generally, a way of conceiving of the classroom as a place where contradictions in discourses are mined with and for our students who will be future teachers in the formal or informal sense. Here is a view of what historical materialism might hold for the relationship between democracy and education and what that relationship means for new, wild, conceptions of self, politics, and spirituality.
Cover design by Madison Kuhn.