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Jacques Lacan and Education

A Critical Introduction

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Donyell L. Roseboro

This is an introductory level text with emphasis on Lacan’s theoretical relationship to education and which uses Lacan’s theories as a springboard for a different educational discourse, one that forces us to assess inward rather than outward. To move beyond the linear nature of schools, a context exacerbated by developmental psychologists like Piaget and Erikson who theorized that we can understand children’s development in stages, the author argues that Lacan’s theories allow us to holistically educate—to teach cognizant of the relationship between interior and exterior spaces, between the unspoken and the heard. The text serves four purposes: 1) to translate Lacan’s primary ideas into language appropriate for introductory level college students, 2) to examine identity in ways that are relevant across disciplines, 3) to re-frame Lacan’s work with post-structuralist and postmodern theories and, in so doing, create a distinctive analysis of the self predefined yet reinvented, and 4) to juxtapose Lacan’s work with post-formal thinking and theorize about his relevance to public education.
This book is purposefully organized with specific emphasis on Lacan’s work as a teacher and the ways in which his theories complicate current accountability standards in the United States which insist that “good” teaching and learning is quantifiable. The author foregrounds Lacan’s concepts of identity and language and analyzes those in parallel to the discourses of democratic education. Lacan’s theories do provide some indelible possibilities for public education in the twenty-first century. Considering his relevance to post-structuralism, post-formalism, post colonialism, and postmodernism, a Lacanian perspective of public education would defy the current standardization of curriculum in the wake of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) mandates. Using Lacan, the author re-envisions public education as a process which encourages the distinctiveness of students, challenges normative assumptions about what a “good” student is, and demands that teachers facilitate student understanding of multiple truths but that teachers also engage in an honest reconstruction of history—one that acknowledges the brutality of conquest, the arrogance of imperialism, and the illusiveness/elusiveness of peace.
Using the South African Truth and Reconciliation process as a framework, the author ends by constructing a model for public education which is grounded in “truth-telling” in public spaces, “witnessing” as a political practice, and educating as purposeful work. A Lacanian, post-formal curriculum, at its core, thus requires that we seek and identify truths, we work to become integrated beings by hearing the unconscious (that which we do not want to or cannot face), and that we educate for goodness and wholeness. This book is ultimately a call to re-envision the current public educational system in the U. S., a call to admit that it has inexcusably failed far too many children, and a call to construct entirely different possibilities.

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Edited by Clea Schmidt and Jens Schneider

Diversifying the teaching force has become a priority in many migrant-receiving jurisdictions worldwide with the growing mismatch between the ethnic backgrounds, cultures, languages, and religions of teachers and those of students and families. Arguments for diversification tend to be couched in terms of disproportionate representation and students from minority backgrounds needing positive role models, yet research identifies other compelling reasons for diversification, including the fact that teachers of migrant backgrounds often possess outstanding qualifications when multilingualism and internationally obtained education and experience are taken into account, and the fact that all students, including majority-background students, benefit from a diversity of role models in schools. Nevertheless, the process of diversification is fraught with complexity. Depending on the context, systemic discrimination, an oversupply of teachers in the profession generally, and outdated hiring policies and practices can all impede efforts to diversify the teaching force.
This volume comprises original research from Canada, the U. S., Germany, Ireland, Scotland, and England that problematizes issues of diversifying the teaching force and identifies promising practices. A foreword written by Charlene Bearhead of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation questions the very purpose of education in and for diverse societies. An introduction written by the editors defines key concepts and establishes a rationale for diversifying the teaching force in migrant-receiving contexts. Following this, key international scholars offer empirical perspectives using a range of methodologies and theories rooted in critical social science paradigms. The volume informs future research, programming, and policy development in this area.

Scars

A Black Lesbian Experience in Rural White New England

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A. Breeze Harper

Scars is a novel about whiteness, racism, and breaking past the normative boundaries of heterosexuality, as experienced through eighteen year old Savannah Penelope Sales. Savannah is a Black girl, born and raised in a white, working class, and rural New England town. She is in denial of her lesbian sexuality, harbors internalized racism about her body, and is ashamed of being poor. She lives with her ailing mother whose Emphysema is a symptom of a mysterious past of suffering and sacrifice that Savannah is not privy to. When Savannah takes her first trip to a major metropolitan city for two days, she never imagines how it will affect her return back home to her mother … or her capacity to not only love herself, but also those who she thought were her enemies.
Scars is about the journey of friends and family who love Savannah and try to help her heal, all while they too battle their own wounds and scars of being part of multiple systems of oppression and power. Ultimately, Scars makes visible the psychological trauma and scarring that legacies of colonialism have caused to both the descendants of the colonized and the colonizer … and the potential for healing and reconciliation for everyone willing to embark on the journey.
As a work of social fiction born out of years of critical race, Black feminist, and critical whiteness studies scholarship, Scars engages the reader to think about USA culture through the lenses of race, whiteness, working-class sensibilities, sexual orientation, and how rural geography influences identity.
Scars can be used as a springboard for discussion, self-reflection and social reflection for students enrolled in American Studies, Sociology, Women’s Studies, Sexuality Studies, African American Studies, human geography, LGBTQ studies and critical whiteness studies courses, or it can be read entirely for pleasure.

Intelligent Internationalization

The Shape of Things to Come

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Edited by Kara A. Godwin and Hans de Wit

In 2015, Laura Rumbley put forward the notion that higher education—in a highly complex, globally interdependent world—would be wise to commit to an agenda of "intelligent internationalization" (I2). I2 turns on the notion that "the development of a thoughtful alliance between the research, practitioner, and policy communities," in tandem with key decision makers in leadership roles, is essential for institutions and systems of higher education seeking sustained relevance and vitality through their internationalization efforts. Does "intelligent internationalization" make sense? What is faulty, misguided, or missing from this analysis that could be strengthened through further consideration? On the other hand, what speaks to its value as an idea or agenda to advance the way that internationalization is understood and enacted in the world? These issues will be addressed in this book which builds on a 2018 Symposium on Intelligent Internationalization.

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Edited by Caroline Manion, Emily Anderson, Supriya Baily, Meagan Call-Cummings, Radhika Iyengar, Payal P. Shah and Matthew, A. Witenstein

Conversations related to epistemology and methodology have been present in comparative and international education (CIE) since the field’s inception. How CIE phenomena are studied, the questions asked, the tools used, and ideas about knowledge and reality that they reflect, shape the nature of the knowledge produced, the valuing of that knowledge, and the implications for practice in diverse societies. This book is part of a growing conversation in which the ways that standardized practices in CIE research have functioned to reproduce problematic hierarchies, silences and exclusions of diverse peoples, societies, knowledges, and realities. Argued is that there must be recognition and understanding of the negative consequences of hegemonic onto-epistemologies and methodologies in CIE, dominantly sourced in European social science traditions, that continue to shape and influence the design, implementation and dissemination/application of CIE research knowledge. Yet, while critical reflection is necessary, it alone is insufficient to realize the transformative change called for: as students, researchers, practitioners and policymakers, we must hear and heed calls for concrete action to challenge, resist and transform the status quo in the field and work to further realize a more ethical and inclusive CIE.

Interrogating and Innovating Comparative and International Research presents a series of conceptual and empirically-based essays that critically explore and problematize the dominance of Eurocentric epistemological and methodological traditions in CIE research. As an action-oriented volume, the contributions do not end with critique, rather suggestions are made and orientations modelled from different perspectives about the possibilities for change in CIE.

Contributors are: Emily Anderson, Supriya Baily, Gerardo L. Blanco, Alisha Braun, Erik Jon Byker, Meagan Call-Cummings, Brendan J. DeCoster, D. Brent Edwards Jr., Sothy Eng, Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher, Jeremy Gombin-Sperling, Kelly Grace, Radhika Iyengar, Huma Kidwai, Lê Minh Hằng, Caroline Manion, Patricia S. Parker, Leigh Patel, Timothy D. Reedy, Karen Ross, Betsy Scotto-Lavino, Payal P. Shah, Derrick Tu, and Matthew A. Witenstein.