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Edited by Sue Vella, Ruth Falzon and Andrew Azzopardi

The study of wellbeing is not new. Over two millennia ago, the Ancient Greeks were already debating different conceptions of the good life, and how it may be fostered, albeit a debate for the privileged in ancient Greek society. More recently, the post-WWII concern with economic scarcity gave way – as prosperity rose in the later 20th century – to values such as personal growth and social inclusion. In parallel, research has increasingly turned its focus to wellbeing, going beyond traditional measures of income, wealth and employment. Greater attention is now paid to the subjective experience of wellbeing which, it is broadly agreed, has many dimensions such as life satisfaction, optimal functioning and a good quality of life.

Perspectives on Wellbeing: A Reader brings together a number of chapters that examine wellbeing from different disciplinary perspectives. A number of the chapters take the angle of human flourishing, looking at the respective contributions of belonging, emotional resilience, spirituality, prosocial behaviour, literacy and leisure. Others look at wellbeing through a social relations lens, including family relations, youth, persons with disability and gender. Finally, a chapter on wellbeing and economics illustrates different approaches to measuring wellbeing and identifying its determinants, and the book concludes with a chapter that argues for the enduring importance of the welfare state if the wellbeing of all is to be ensured.

This book is likely to be of interest to both undergraduate and postgraduate students in the social sciences as well as to a general readership.

Contributors are: Angela Abela, Andrew Azzopardi, Paul Bartolo, Marie Briguglio, Amy Camilleri Zahra, Joanne Cassar, Marilyn Clark, Ruth Falzon, Vickie Gauci, Ingrid Grech Lanfranco, Natalie Kenely, Mary Anne Lauri, Marceline Naudi, Claudia Psaila, Clarissa Sammut Scerri, Sandra Scicluna Calleja, Barbara Stelmaszek, Sue Vella, and Val Williams.
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Yvette V. Lapayese

In every corner of the world, children are learning languages at home that differ from the dominant language used in their broader social world. These children arrive at school with a precious resource: their mother tongue. In the face of this resource and the possibility for biliteracy, majority language educational programs do nothing to support primary language competence. To counter monolingual education, there are significant albeit few initiatives around the world that provide formal support for children to continue to develop competence in their mother tongue, while also learning an additional language or languages. One such initiative is dual language immersion education (DLI).

Interestingly, most (if not all) research on DLI programs focus on the effectiveness of bilingual education vis-à-vis academic access and achievement. The ideologies embedded in the research and guidelines for DLI education, albeit necessary and critical during the early days of DLI schooling, are disconnected from the present realities, epistemologies, and humanness of our bilingual youth.

A Humanizing Dual Language Immersion Education envisions a framework informed by bilingual teachers and students who support biliteracy as a human right. Positioning bilingual education under a human rights framework addresses the basic right of our bi/multilingual youth to human dignity. Respect for the languages of persons belonging to different linguistic communities is essential for a just and democratic society. Given the centrality of language to our sense of who we are and where we fit in the broader world, a connection between linguistic human rights and bilingual education is essential.
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Who Look at Me?!

Shifting the Gaze of Education through Blackness, Queerness, and the Body

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Durell M. Callier and Dominique C. Hill

Continuing the work of June Jordan and Langston Hughes, Who Look at Me?!: Shifting the Gaze of Education through Blackness, Queerness, and the Body questions how we, as a society, see Blackness and in particular Black youth. Taking up questions of sight, seeing, and the negation of seeing the Black, queer body in education, this book analyzes the impact of these views. Based on the work of a Black queer collective, Hill L. Waters, Who Look at Me?! provides alternative tools for reading about and engaging with the lived experiences of Black youth and educational research for and about Black youth. Drawing on the creative arts and narrative this book presents the possibilities of envisioning teaching and research practices that embrace, celebrate, and make room for the fullness of Black and queer bodies and experiences. This book can be used as a springboard for discussion and reflection in a range of courses in art education, education, critical race studies, and the social sciences. It can also be read by anyone interested in learning about Black youth.
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Reel Big Bullies

Teaching to the Problem

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Brian C. Johnson and James E. Vines

Talk with students about bullying in their schools/communities and three themes are likely to emerge: a) there’s nothing anyone can do about it, b) bullying is necessary as it builds character, and c) there needs to be more educational programming in the schools designed to curb bullying behavior.

Contrast those sentiments with the helplessness teachers and administrators feel. Many will tell you that current state and federal guidelines tie their hands until after an incident occurs. In other words, a student must get hurt before the school is able to do anything. Reel Big Bullies is designed for regular anti-bullying campaigns and will not cost struggling districts thousands of dollars to implement as it provides teachers with educational resources to complement regular instruction in classrooms.

Using clips from Hollywood blockbusters like Knocked Up, The Emperor’s New Groove, The Benchwarmers and others, Reel Big Bullies is designed to help students, administrators, teachers and counselors create a safer school environment for all students. It is also intended to help all students understand the terrible toll bullying can take on its targets, and to encourage students to stand up for their classmates who are being bullied.

The book’s framework follows the three themes above and discusses the pertinent legal and policy decisions affecting educational intervention. With the already busy (overwhelmed) teacher in mind, we describe nearly 200 film clips teachers can show in class to promote and spark discussions with students in middle and high schools.
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Pathways to Belonging

Contemporary Research in School Belonging

Edited by Kelly-Ann Allen and Christopher Boyle

School belonging should be a priority across every facet of education. The research on school belonging for positive student outcomes has been widely accepted and findings demonstrating its role as a protective factor against mental ill health and youth suicide are too compelling to ignore. In an age where it has been argued that academic achievement is prioritised over wellbeing, the editors bring the importance of school belonging back to the fore in educational policy and planning. This book is the most comprehensive compendium of its kind on the topic of school belonging. A foreword by Professor John Hattie of The University of Melbourne sets the scene for an engaging look at how school belonging is quintessential in contemporary schooling.

Contributors are: Kelly-Ann Allen, Christopher Boyle, Jonathan Cohen, Crystal Coker, Erin Dowdy, Clemence Due, Jonathan K. Ferguson, Sebastian Franke, Michael Furlong, Annie Gowing, Alun Jackson, Divya Jindal-Snape, Andrew Martinez, Daniel Mays, Vicki McKenzie, Susan Dvorak McMahon, Franka Metzner, Kathryn Moffa, Silke Pawils, Damien W. Riggs, Sue Roffey, Lisa Schneider, Bini Sebastian, Christopher D. Slaten, Jessica Smead, Amrit Thapa, Dianne Vella-Brodrick, Lea Waters, Michelle Wichmann, and Holger Zielemanns.
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The Drama of Reality Television

Lives of Youth in Liquid Modern Times

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Danielle T. Ligocki

In The Drama of Reality Television: Lives of Youth in Liquid Modern Times, the author offers a glimpse into the lives, viewing habits, and opinions of today’s Generation Z. While reality television is quite often viewed as just a guilty pleasure, the conversations that the author had with young people show that reality television is a major pedagogical force in the lives of young viewers.

This is compounded by our current liquid modern time period; a time in which everything is fluid, there are no solid bonds and people are disposable. The author shares the incredible conversations that she had with seven honest, insightful pre-teenagers to give us a deeper understanding of the ways in which just a ‘guilty pleasure’ is working to deeply impact the lives of young people.
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Disrupting Shameful Legacies

Girls and Young Women Speaking Back through the Arts to Address Sexual Violence

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Edited by Claudia Mitchell and Relebohile Moletsane

Much has been written in Canada and South Africa about sexual violence in the context of colonial legacies, particularly for Indigenous girls and young women. While both countries have attempted to deal with the past through Truth and Reconciliation Commissions and Canada has embarked upon its National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, there remains a great deal left to do. Across the two countries, history, legislation and the lived experiences of young people, and especially girls and young women point to a deeply rooted situation of marginalization. Violence on girls’ and women’s bodies also reflects violence on the land and especially issues of dispossession. What approaches and methods would make it possible for girls and young women, as knowers and actors, especially those who are the most marginalized, to influence social policy and social change in the context of sexual violence?

Taken as a whole, the chapters in Disrupting Shameful Legacies: Girls and Young Women Speaking Back through the Arts to Address Sexual Violence which come out of a transnational study on sexual violence suggest a new legacy, one that is based on methodologies that seek to disrupt colonial legacies, by privileging speaking up and speaking back through the arts and visual practice to challenge the situation of sexual violence. At the same time, the fact that so many of the authors of the various chapters are themselves Indigenous young people from either Canada or South Africa also suggests a new legacy of leadership for change.

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#BRokenPromises, Black Deaths, & Blue Ribbons

Understanding, Complicating, and Transcending Police-Community Violence

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Edited by Kenneth J. Fasching-Varner, Kerri J. Tobin and Stephen M. Lentz

Many urban centres are shaken to their core with mistrust between communities and law enforcement. Erosion was exacerbated in the Obama-era, intensified during the 2016 campaign, and is violently manifested in Trump’s presidency. The promise of uniting communities articulated by leaders lays broken. The text suggests that promise of prosperous and engaged urban citizenry will remain broken until we can honestly address the following unanswered questions: What factors contribute to the creation of divided communities? What happened to erode trust between community and law enforcement? What concerns and challenges do law enforcement officials have relating to policing within urban centres? What are the experiences of residents and police? And, finally, whose lives really matter, and how do we move forward?

Contributors are: Lawrence Baines, Amber C. Bryant, Erica L. Bumpers, Issac Carter, Justin A. Cole, Erin Dreeszen, Jaquial Durham, Antonio Ellis, Idara Essien, Jeffrey M. Frank, Beatriz Gonzalez, Aaron J. Griffen, Jennie L. Hanna, Diane M. Harnek Hall, Cleveland Hayes, Deanna Hayes-Wilson, Stacey Hill, Jim L. Hollar, Taharee A. Jackson, Melinda Jackson-Jefferson, Sharon D. Jones-Eversley, Stephen M. Lentz, Patricia Maloney, Isiah Marshall, Jr., Derrick McKisick, Rebecca Neal, Ariel Quinio, Jacqueline M. Rhoden-Trader, Derrick Robinson, Ebony B. Rose, Randa Suleiman, Clarice Thomas, Kerri J. Tobin, Eddie Vanderhorst, Rolanda L. Ward, Deondra Warner, John Williams, Deleon M. Wilson, Geoffrey L. Wood, Jemimah L. Young, and Jie Yu.
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Activists under 30

Global Youth, Social Justice, and Good Work

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Edited by Shirley R. Steinberg

This unique book is divided into two sections. The first section highlights specific international youth activists, their biographies, work, and accomplishments. The second section is a collection of work by youth, who address their own activism, goals, identities, and needs. Commentaries by teachers, community workers, and facilitators compliment the entries, creating a unique, intergenerational and multi-faceted volume.

The book will serve to fill a gap in teacher education, highlighting and listening to youth, themselves, who, the editor, contends, should be intimately involved in their own education and futures. A new model for teacher education, this book allows teachers to understand that youth must have, and demand, a voice in the determination of their lives and futures. Previous work with youth tends to “deal with them” as a problem to be solved, a group to be managed. This book insists that youth are viable citizens and create a voice which is heard internationally.

Activists under 30 is the first book of its kind, to be addressed to youth, teachers, parents, and activists. It reminds us that youth are our most valuable resource, and insists we incorporate them, invite them, and listen to them.
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Youth as/in Crisis

Young People, Public Policy, and the Politics of Learning

Edited by Sara Carpenter and Shahrzad Mojab

Internationally, there is a growing argument amongst policy makers and academics that broadening spectrums of young adults are ‘at-risk’ of various types of material, social, physical, and cultural insecurity. In this way, the traditional identification of transitions from youth to adulthood, marked by points of permanence such as stable employment, are beginning to fray. Through various academic, popular, and policy literatures, young people today are imagined as being both ‘threatened’ by social inequality as well as a ‘threat’ against which our notions of security and social cohesion are constructed.
This edited collection includes empirical and theoretical work concerning the relationships between youth/young adults, public policy, and educational research, with its primary focus being new forms of public policy in Canada that, we argue, are emblematic of international policy instruments examining the policy and economic participation of young people. Examining key sites of youth participation, including post-secondary institutions, community-based programs, and work/employment programs, the included case studies examine how young people navigate and learn from everyday experiences of marginalization and violence while at the same time illuminating how these experiences are organized and reproduced through the very institutions that are meant to shape young people’s engagement in society.