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The Art of Instruction

Essays on Pedagogy and Literature in 17th-Century France

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Edited by Anne L. Birberick

The Art of Instruction: Essays on Pedagogy and Literature in 17th-Century France aims to add a new dimension to the scholarly discussion on how culture is inculcated by focusing on the interplay between aesthetic forms and pedagogical agendas. The nine essays in the collection take into account the full range of meanings associated with the term art: science, method, learning, beautiful expression, artistic creation. In exploring the role art plays in shaping an instructional system, the volume’s contributors examine literary genres that are both established (comedies, tragedies, sonnets) and nascent (novels, manuals, gazettes) as well as the works of a diverse group of seventeenth-century writers: Chassignet, Subligny, Scarron, Lafayette, La Bruyère, Maintenon, de Visé, Boursault, Molière and Racine. What emerges from this diversity is an invaluable exploration of how educational imperatives, no matter their focus, rely as much on manipulating artistic forms as they do on articulating didactic principles. Broad in its scope while remaining thematically coherent, The Art of Instruction will be of interest to students and scholars of early modern French literature, history, culture and pedagogy.

Closed Education in the Open Society

Kibbutz Education as a Case Study

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Chen Yehezkely

Why is education in the open society not open? Why is this option not even considered in the debate over which education is most suited for the open society? Many consider such an option irresponsible. What, then, are the minimal responsibilities of education?
The present volume raises these questions and many more. It is a book we have been waiting for. It offers a rare combination of two seemingly opposite, unyielding attitudes: critical and friendly. Dr. Yehezkely applies a rigorous fallibilist-critical approach to issues regarding contemporary education. His diagnosis is that the source of our trouble is the closed undemocratic character of education, which causes education to become, in effect, a fifth column in the open democratic society. Following Popper, he concedes that democracy is every bit as flawed and as problematic as its enemies accuse it of being, particularly in education; still it is our only hope, since open responsible debate of vital problems cannot do without it. Democracy is risky: yet its absence guarantees failure, especially in closed undemocratic education, even when inspired by the most progressive ideas extant, charged with tremendous good will, and executed with selfless love and devotion. Kibbutz education is a case in point.

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Edited by Eva Alcón Soler and Maria-Pilar Safont-Jordà

Studies on discourse and language learning originated in the field of general education and they focused on first language learning environments. However, since 1980s research on discourse and language learning broadened the scope of investigation to respond to second and foreign language environments. Recently, the emergence of new language learning contexts such as computer mediated communication, multilingual settings or content and language integrated contexts requires further research that focuses on discourse and language learning. From this perspective, the present volume aims to broaden the scope of investigation in foreign language contexts by exploring discourse patterns in the classroom and examining the impact of factors such as gender, explicitness of feedback or L1 use on language learning through discourse. With that aim in mind, this volume will bring together research that investigates discourse in various instructional settings, namely those of primary, secondary and university L2 learning environments, content and language integrated contexts and other new language learning settings. The number and variety of languages involved both as the first language (e.g. English, Finnish, Basque, Spanish, Japanese, French, Italian, Catalan) as well as the target foreign language (e.g. English, French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish) makes the volume specially attractive. Additionally, the different approaches adopted by the researchers participating in this volume, such as information processing, sociocultural theory, or conversation analysis, widen the realm of investigation on discourse and language learning. Finally, the strength of the volume also lies in the range of educational settings (primary, secondary and tertiary education) and the worldwide representation of contributors across seven different countries, namely those of Spain, France, Austria, Finland, Germany, Canada, Australia and the United States. The uniqueness of the volume is due to its eclectic and comprehensive nature in tackling instructional discourse. Worldwide outstanding researchers, like Julianne House, Carme Muñoz, Ute Smit, Tarja Nikula or Roy Lyster, to quote but a few, adopt different perspectives in this joint contribution that will certainly broaden the scope of research on language learners’ discourse.