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The Civic Gospel

A Political Cartography of Christianity

Series:

William M. Reynolds and Julie A. Webber

This book is a result of the times in which we are living. These times demand a response. When the authors began to write this book, it was not popular to dissent against the Bush administration. In fact, dissent was and still is equated with terrorism. Now, it might seem that the tide is turning and maybe after the 2008 election some of this nightmare we have been experiencing will change. At least that is the optimistic view. But there are small traces that the struggle the authors discuss in this book will continue well into the 21st century.
The intermingling of the political and the religious is still swirling in the present context. The Civic Gospel, as the authors discuss it, is the notion that preaching the Gospel is preaching politics and vise versa. This book is about that struggle and the issues related to it.

Muslim Voices in School

Narratives of Identity and Pluralism

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Edited by Özlem Sensoy and Christopher Darius Stonebanks

This book is a collection of readable, accessible, compelling, varied, voiced, passionate, real, textured, multi-faceted, hybrid, fearless, fearful, cautious, bold, modest, and inspired accounts of living Islam in relation to mainstream schooling in the West.
The book helps to make the diverse experiences of Muslim students (from elementary through university, student through professor) both contextual and complex. The politics and education about Islam, Muslims, Arabs, Turks, Iranians and all that is associated with the West’s popular imagination of the monolithic “Middle-East” has long been framed within problematics. The goal of this book is to push back against the reductive mainstream narratives told about Muslim and Middle Eastern heritage students for generations if not centuries, in mainstream schools. The chapters are each authored by Muslim-acculturated scholars.
This book will be of interest to teachers, administrators, students and scholars. As well, the content is suited to fields of study including ethnic studies, critical multicultural education, anti-oppression approaches to education, curriculum studies, social issues in education, social contexts of education, and qualitative research in education.
WINNER! of the National Association for Multicultural Education’s 2010 Philip C. Chinn book award!

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.

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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.

Seeing With Poetic Eyes

Critical Race Theory and Moving from Liberal to Critical Forms of Race Research in Sociology of Education

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Benjamin Blaisdell

“Seeing with poetic eyes” is a phrase used by a teacher to describe one of his students, a teenager who could recognize the disconnect between U. S. society’s claims about racial equity and its actual commitment towards that equity. As a teacher, he saw it as his mission to help all of his students see the world in such a critical way with that hope that they would be motivated to pursue antiracism more actively in their lives. In this book, I discuss how critical race theory (CRT) can motivate research on race in sociology of education in a similar way. Specifically, I describe how CRT helped me work with seven white teachers on developing more critical understandings of race. In my ethnographic interviews with these teachers, the analytical tools of CRT gave me a way to openly dialogue with them about issues of race in education. I was able to not only learn from the teachers but also work with them on developing racial awareness. Instead of relying on more liberal forms of sociological research—where the researcher extracts data from participants—CRT helped me promote a more critical approach, one where the researcher and participants work together to actively pursue antiracism in the research act itself. So “seeing with poetic eyes” refers the way that I have come to view research as a means of antiracism. Similarly, I propose that CRT can promote such a critical approach to research on race in the field of sociology of education.

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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”.

Confronting Intolerance

Critical, Responsive Literacy Instruction with Adult Immigrants

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Stephen G. Mogge

Confronting Intolerance: Critical, Responsive Literacy Instruction with Adult Immigrants captures the experience of adult immigrants who are improving their English literacy while confronting an intolerant political culture. It examines recent immigration policy and the anti-immigrant fervor that has gripped the United States and describes the perseverance and struggles of immigrant students to pursue their goals through literacy education.
The book offers a powerful and vivid example of critical pedagogy blended with sociocultural perspectives of literacy education in an effort to raise student consciousness and alter the political culture. Confronting Intolerances is an ethnographic, teacher research narrative that describes a year in the life of the author’s classroom with adult Latino immigrants, mostly Mexican, in a Chicago, Illinois (USA) settlement house.
Specific focus is given to immigrant students’ response to reading material that was selected to meet individual ambitions but was also selected to meet the concerns and anxieties that surfaced in response to the intolerant climate. The book describes students’ engagement with narrative and informational reading and displays the students’ evolving perspectives on politics, economics, culture, and race as these relate to Latino immigrants in the United States.
Through extensive classroom dialogue and descriptions of students engaged in political activities, the book explores the students’ emerging sense of what it means to become “American” amidst an immigrant backlash. It takes the reader through a year in a settlement house classroom, and reveals the hopes, dreams, and struggles of immigrants who continue to pursue America’s promises—those realized and those broken.

Critical Literacies in Action

Social Perspectives and Teaching Practices

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Edited by Karyn Cooper and Robert E. White

Critical Literacies in Action: Social Perspectives and Teaching Practices asks how educators can become more experienced in order to truly support literacy, particularly for children of poverty or for those who have been labeled “at-risk”. This is especially important in current times, since a literate individual is one who is more successfully able to situate him- or herself within a continuum of lifelong learning in order to fulfill personal goals and to participate fully within the wider societyal context.
Although the word “literacy” has been with us for a very long time, the very meaning of the term itself has become increasingly complex due to a multiplicity of factors. At least in part, this complexity is a function of expanding and interconnecting notions of what it is that constitutes modern literacy as well as the increasingly technological nature of the world within which individuals live and learn. As such, a new horizon in literacy research has appeared, promising to renegotiate traditional definitions of the term “literate” and what it means to be critically literate in this increasingly complex world.
Definitions of literacy have also evolved along with the evolution of the computer. Currently, the term “literacy” describes a commitment to and participation in a multiplicity of meaning making systems, many of which exhibit ever-greater degrees of interdependence with one another. The term “Critical Literacy” has come into use relatively recently and is generally regarded as a sub-category of Critical Pedagogy—“Critical” because it promotes an agenda for positive social change.

Bryant Griffith

Education is a dance of complexity and struggle. Unfortunately, our educational system is tied to the observable and the verifiable, not the randomness of human beings and their diverse forms of expression. The reality of the contemporary classroom is a context of multifaceted diversity, with each classroom reflecting unique combinations of ideology, culture, and language, played out in numerous forms and permutations of multi-textual discourses. The influence of each contextual space is only limited by one’s ability to understand its complexity and to acknowledge it.
Teachers and learners are roommates of sorts, connected by the web of discourse and praxis, woven inside the global community. We live in a world where common understanding is desperately sought, yet one where language is often not tied to common understanding. Exploring the need for shared community within this context, Griffith provides a path in which the diverse ways of knowing can interlace to form pedagogical moments in which teachers and learners can deconstruct and construct alternatives.
Cultural narration is based on a series of social relationships, which can be compared to reading the world as a series of texts. As readers become a part of the reconstruction process, the educational system can be visualized as a series of cautionary tales about possibilities, about ways to live and build community in this modern/postmodern world. The author focuses on the nature of discourse and the importance of engaging in dialogue about what it means to be other-conscious, what it means to address questions about who we are and how we came to be who we are.
This path is continuously “under construction;” it is always in the process of becoming what is appearing on the horizon. As teachers learn to commit themselves to the gaps revealed by the narratives of their students, classrooms become discourse communities and contact zones, co-constructing contextual discourses which acknowledge ritual and gesture manifested in various forms of text.

Global Citizenship Education

Philosophy, Theory and Pedagogy

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Edited by Michael A. Peters, Alan Britton and Harry Blee

The essays in this edited collection argue that global citizenship education realistically must be set against the imperfections of our contemporary political realities. As a form of education it must actively engage in a critically informed way with a set of complex inherited historical issues that emerge out of a colonial past and the savage globalization which often perpetuates unequal power relations or cause new inequalities. The essays in the book explore these issues and the emergent world ideologies of globalism, as well as present territorial conflicts, ethnic, tribal and nationalist rivalries, problems of increasing international migration and asylum, growing regional imbalances and increasing world inequalities. Contributors to this collection, each on their own way, argues that global citizenship education needs to project new values, to reality test and debate the language, concepts and theories of global citizenship and the proto-world institutions that seek to give expression to nascent aspirations for international forms of social justice and citizen participation in world government. Many of the contributors argue that global citizenship education offers the prospect of extending the liberal ideologies of human rights and multiculturalism, and of developing a better understanding of forms of post-colonialism. One thing is sure, as the essays presented in this book demonstrate so clearly, there can be no one dominant notion of global citizenship education as notions of ‘global’, ‘citizenship’ and ‘education’ are all contested and open to further argument and revision. Global citizenship education does not name the moment of global citizenship or even its emergence so much as the hope of a form of order where the rights of the individual and of cultural groups, irrespective of race, gender, ethnicity or creed, are observed, preserved and protected by all governments in order to become the basis of citizen participation in new global spaces that we might be tempted to call global civil society.