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Partnership in Higher Education

Trends between African and European Institutions


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.

Ellen A. Brantlinger

When Meaning Falters and Words Fail, Ideology Matters


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.


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.


Ian Parker Renga and Mark A. Lewis


Fictional stories of teachers convey particular character types like the hero, trickster, or sage that are likely to resonate with many educators. By engaging in archetypal reflectivity while reading young adult literature, teachers can examine these types with respect to their ideals of professional practice and identity. Here we invite readers to consider the teacher as archetypal sage as depicted by Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series as it compares to the mentor coach character of Lionel “Lion” Serbousek in the book Ironman. We show how both teacher types forge close mentoring relationships with students, though there are notable differences in how they guide students and to what ends. The contrast, as we discuss, can challenge assumptions about what students are seeking and may ultimately need from their teachers.


Gary Kenton


Many factors have contributed to the decline in support for public schools in America. Most often, blame is directed at politically conservative groups and individuals that have resisted integration, affirmative action, and other programs associated with the Civil Rights Movement. But this essay considers the impact of popular as well as political culture on the marginalization of public schools, looking specifically at the negative portrayal of schools and formal education in rock ‘n’ roll. Song lyrics and other cultural information conveyed by rock and rap artists have tended to romanticize individual creativity and freedom and to discourage a communitarian, civic orientation. As an indirect consequence, Baby Boomers and Millennials have been muted in their defense of all things public, including education.

“Good” Teacher on Her Own Terms

Miss Shaw in ABC’s The Wonder Years


Chad E. Harris


The term “good teacher” has as many definitions as there are people who experience life as a student—or who watch television to compare their real-life teachers to those they see onscreen. In her work on teachers on film and on television, Mary M. Dalton labels the “Good Teacher” as one who very much resembles recurring attitudes about what makes a teacher “good,” but—in Hollywood as in life—such teachers often fulfill stereotypes not unlike the cowboy outsiders who save the day in Westerns. When they do achieve what looks like a substantive impact on students, they often do so in reductive plotlines that make conflict and achievement of their teaching goals too unrealistic to represent real teachers. However, Dalton’s model provides endless possibilities to study different combinations of Good Teacher qualities and formulate new interpretations of such an important category. In this essay, I take up the ABC series The Wonder Years (1988–93) and Miss Shaw, the favorite teacher of Kevin Arnold—the prototypical American teen with an ambivalent-yet-insightful attitude toward school—and argue for her importance as a Good Teacher on television because of, rather than in spite of, her decision to quit her job on her own terms. Even in leaving her post, she embodies more of what it means to be a Good Teacher than do most teachers deemed “good” and thus memorable for the lessons they teach.

In Loco Parentis Redux

Bob and Linda Belcher at Wagstaff School


Elizabeth Currin


Grounded in a critical historical understanding of the feminization of teaching, this chapter explores representations of teaching in the Fox animated series Bob’s Burgers, featuring Wagstaff School’s well-intentioned but inept guidance counselor, Mr. Frond, an oft-villainous counterpart to Tina, Louise, and Gene Belcher’s own parents, Linda and the eponymous Bob. Because both Bob and Linda each take a turn as substitute teachers, in addition to the usual parent-teacher conference or chaperone fare, Bob’s Burgers, aside from being an underrated commentary on the American working class, also stands to make a significant contribution to scholarly conversations about education in pop culture.

The Insecure Teacher

How Issa Rae Has Normalized the Black Woman to Create TV Magic


Naeemah Clark


In its premier season, Issa, the lead character of HBO’s dramedy Insecure works for a non-profit organization that goes into Los Angeles schools in hopes of inspiring Black students. The non-profit We Got Y’all’s staff of well-meaning, but tone-deaf do-gooders continually frustrate her while the students hone in on her insecurities, forcing her to reexamine her life. This chapter is a discussion of how Issa works to defy the patronizing norms of the non-profit to empower her students, as she works to discover how she can live her best life. Ultimately, the discussion will focus on how she navigates being a professional Black woman, educator, an undercover rapper, a best friend, and a conflicted partner while seeking her authentic self. Ultimately, this series depicts that work of educators is not only edifying for the students but also for the teacher.

Liberatory Pedagogy in Action

The Embodied Performance of Community College Instructors in Film and Television


Kristy Liles Crawley


To analyze the marginal status of community college faculty represented in television and film, the first half of the chapter contrasts stereotypical disembodied representations of university professors with the embodied portrayals of community college faculty. In the second half of the chapter, I argue that community college instructors’ embodied performance in television and film adheres to bell hooks’s description of liberatory pedagogy, a pedagogy dedicated to close interaction with students in an attempt to cross borders and open lines of communication in a diverse classroom setting. While most embodied portrayals take place within the context of comedies, instructors reveal personal and professional sides of their characters while shedding their authoritative omnipotent image. The decentering of authority sets the stage for comedy as viewers see instructors’ faults, struggles, and strengths through their close interactions with students.

A Loyalty Test for the American Educator

From Ichabod Crane to Erin Gruwell


Steve Benton


During the early years of the American Republic, an important strain of American popular culture helped establish the idea that there was something fundamentally un-American about those who put too high a value on intellectual community, book smarts, and cultural sophistication. Popular texts like Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” (1820) depicted schoolteachers in particular as arrogant, untrustworthy, undemocratic, and at some level, disloyal to fundamental American values.

Today, too many Americans have bought into the notion that schools are morally suspicious and ill-equipped to introduce students to complex ideological and intellectual issues. These suspicions of intellectual community are surprisingly—and ironically—reinforced in popular films that celebrate educator heroes. The formula for many of these films—such as Dead Poets Society (1989), Dangerous Minds (1995), and Freedom Writers (2007)—is to celebrate an educator-hero as an American icon while disparaging intellectual community more generally, a formula that they inherited from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women novels. These texts affirm the stereotype of most schoolteachers as arrogant, undemocratic, Ichabod-like tyrants while celebrating the rare alternative to the norm as the real American hero. At one level, such narratives celebrate the possibility that truly motivated educators can thrive in oppressive institutional environments, but on another level, they reinforce the dangerous belief that educational institutions and the intellectual communities they support are instinctively hostile to freedom and learning.