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Anti-Colonialism and Education

The Politics of Resistance

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Edited by George J. Sefa Dei and Arlo Kempf

There is a rich intellectual history to the development of anti-colonial thought and practice. In discussing the politics of knowledge production, this collection borrows from and builds upon this intellectual traditional to offer understandings of the macro-political processes and structures of education delivery (e. g., social organization of knowledge, culture, pedagogy and resistant politics). The contributors raise key issues regarding the contestation of knowledge, as well as the role of cultural and social values in understanding the way power shapes everyday relations of politics and subjectivity. In reframing anti-colonial thought and practice, this book reclaims the power of critical, oppositional discourse and theory for educational transformation. Anti-Colonialism and Education: The Politics of Resistance, includes some the most current theorizing around anti-colonial practice, written specifically for this collection. Each of the essays extends the terrain of the discussion, of what constitutes anti-colonialism. Among the many discursive highlights is the interrogation of the politics of embodied knowing, the theoretical distinctions and connections between anti-colonial thought and post-colonial theory, and the identification of the particular lessons of anti-colonial theory for critical educational practice. Essays explore such key issues as the challenge of articulating anti-colonial thought as an epistemology of the colonized, anchored in the indigenous sense of collective and common colonial consciousness; the conceptualization of power configurations embedded in ideas, cultures and histories of marginalized communities; the understanding of indigeneity as pedagogical practice; and the pursuit of agency, resistance and subjective politics through anti-colonial learning.

Edited by Charles Lowery, Carolyn Hernandez, Anthony Walker and Cornell Thomas

Un-American Acts focuses on identity and invisibility of African American and other underrepresented youth in the U. S. society and schooling. Presented are a series of chapters rooted in critical theory, aesthetics, and moral imagination that are intended to serve as prompts for crucial conversations and for engaging in critical reflective pedagogy in educational leadership and educational studies. Chapters center on events that have transpired in Ferguson, Staten Island, South Carolina, and elsewhere in the U. S. as well as on other relevant concerns that have had a profound impact on perceptions of race and identity in our nation’s educational systems.

Douglas J. Loveless and Bryant Griffith

This book explores the complexity of communication and understanding as a possible asset in formal education rather than a problem that needs to be “fixed”. The authors examine the question and experience as pedagogical tools, challenging readers to play the critic and ask hard questions, beginning with: Why do the ideas discussed within the book matter? The digital information age with expanding ways of thinking, being, communicating, and learning complicates public education. So, what happens as diverse narratives collide in schools? To answer this question, the authors of this book delve into conflicting assumptions within the framework of complexity sciences and education in an attempt to explore space beyond positivist/anti-positivist debates. This involves examining the role of cultural and aesthetic narratives and cautionary tales as means of acknowledging possibilities in human experiences in education. These possibilities can facilitate praxis, as theory, research, and teaching become reflective practices, and as thinking about education broadens to include diverse methods of understanding and presenting complex phenomena.

Tales from School

Learning Disability and State Education after Administrative Reform

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Edited by Rod Wills, Missy Morton, Margaret McLean, Maxine Stephenson and Roger Slee

This is a book about the struggle of many New Zealand families to have their children with learning disabilities included in local community schools. It reviews the influences in the post war period that shaped the state response to the right of all children to attend school. Reflections from both education policy makers and parents of that time are included. The book also examines the more recent impact of neoliberal politics on education policy and the consequences experienced by families with school-aged children with disabilities who may well become ‘collateral damage in the enterprise of improving schools.’
After examining the families’ experience the book asks how inclusion can be fostered in schools and classrooms? Practitioners and academics present research findings that indicate alternative ways of thinking and acting that attest to more ethical and humane responses to human difference. Citizens, school personnel, politicians and policy makers should be challenged by the tales from school arising from attempts to achieve a ‘world class, inclusive education system.’
Cover photograph by Rod Wills, “Oratia District School”

Leading Educational Change Wisely

Examining Diverse Approaches to Increasing Educational Access

Christopher M. Branson

Despite over 40 years of research and writing about how to lead educational change, we still can’t get it right. Although we keep fine tuning our present ways, we are yet to come up with an approach that enables educational change to happen successfully and sustainably. Although this book acknowledges the importance of learning from our past, it also highlights a key deficiency that has consistently compromised these efforts. To date, our approach to leading educational change has mainly focussed on trying to come up with the perfect practical strategy or plan. In contrast, this book argues that leading educational change successfully is not about following a clearly defined process like following a recipe, but it is an improvisational art more like driving down a busy main street during peak hour traffic. The successful leadership of educational change is an improvisational art because although the leader needs to have an overarching strategy, a guiding plan, what they actually do from moment to moment cannot be scripted. The leader has to move back and forth from their plan to the reality currently being experienced so that the plan is being achieved but any adverse effects on those involved are being empathically and immediately attended to as well. This approach to the leadership of educational change emphasises the need of the leader to be able to cope with the unforeseen, the unexpected, and the idiosyncratic. Moreover, this approach to the leadership of educational change emphasises the relational as well as the rational requirements. While such views might be familiar to many, what is new and unique about this book is that it describes how it all can be achieved. It provides clear, research supported, guidance for those who wish to finally lead successful and sustainable educational change.

Democracy and Its Discontents

Critical Literacy across Global Contexts

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Robert E. White and Karyn Cooper

This volume brings together important voices regarding constraints and potential possibilities for democracy in action. The book addresses various understandings of democracy and provides specific critiques. Connections between critique, critical literacy, and its potential for society and education are presented and organized smoothly and accessibly, facilitating easy engagement with the ideas within. These ideas have been carefully thought through so that the text becomes accessible, comprehensible and logical. Readers may benefit from this work through its synthetic, international and comparative approach to issues surrounding critical literacy and its relationship with the democratic process. Complementing the text with audio-visual content allows readers to engage with some of the foremost professionals in the field of critical literacy. Videos of Noam Chomsky add to this a definitive view of democratic practice. The authors have striven to make this “video-text” appropriate, interesting and innovative. Moreover, readers may particularly appreciate the informative summary at the end of every chapter, which is presented in more accessible terms for the uninitiated who may be interested in ways of dealing with critical literacy practices in social, political and educational contexts. This is a very personal book that surprises, represents a unique view of the interrelationship between democracy and literacy, reinterprets significant academic writings in critical pedagogy, offers an analysis of theoretical and empirical research, and provides in-depth narratives and portraits of stimulating scholars in education who have worked towards development of an engaged and empowered electorate.

Education and Society in Comparative Context

The Essence of Outdoor-Oriented Education in the USA and India

Eija Kimonen

What was the interrelationship between education and society during the twentieth century in the United States and India? What is the essence of the historical development of educational policies and social systems in these two countries? What philosophical views and developmental courses underlie their outdoor-oriented education? What are their aims of outdoor-oriented education? What procedures are connected with their outdoor-oriented education? These questions are examined in this unique volume.

This book is divided into three parts. The first part creates a context for the comparison of the issues concerning education and society. The second part analyzes the social systems and educational policies of the United States and India following their developmental trends and patterns. The third part is an analysis and comparison of the phenomena previously presented that are related to education and society through the lenses suggested by sociological theories. It compares the dimensions of the interrelationship between education and society from the standpoint of outdoor-oriented education in the two countries during the twentieth century.

This thought-provoking volume is intended for anybody interested in the interplay between education and society in all its complexity. It offers a fascinating journey into the past and present of the issues that have defined the development of education and society in the United States and India.

The Road to Independence

Emancipatory Pedagogy

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Svanborg Rannveig Jónsdóttir and Rósa Gunnarsdóttir

People throughout the world have creative minds with unlimited potential for change. The Road to Independence: Emancipatory Pedagogy offers ways to empower people through education so that we can live and prosper together in a sustainable world. The emancipatory pedagogy of innovation and entrepreneurial education is presented as a road to independence: as a way to enable everyone to reach their inherent potential.
This book presents case studies, stories, and research findings from innovation and entrepreneurial education that illuminate the real lives and work of teachers and students from different cultures.

Schools in Transition

Linking Past, Present, and Future in Educational Practice

Edited by Pauli Siljander, Kimmo Kontio and Eetu Pikkarainen

School is one of the most focal institutions in modern society. It is largely through the institutionalized forms of education that modern society attempts to secure and maintain its social and economic well-being and its valuable cultural life forms. In addition to this, school is the essential institution through which the future of a society is defined. Thus, at least when understood traditionally as a pedagogical institution, the school stands at the center of historically and socially constructed cultural life forms and at the brink of an unknown future: the determination of that future characterizes the pedagogical task of the school. It naturally ensues then, that modern discourses of the school have always been intertwined with the critical question of how past, present and future can be linked in educational practices so that schools can foster (in ever better ways) the well-being of individuals, societies and humanity. The chapters in this volume, despite the variety of viewpoints, share this critical view. The purpose of the volume is not to offer definite answers; rather it is to stress that to understand the role and functions of school in contemporary society and to orientate its transition, a well-founded critical evaluation of prevailing pedagogical practices and policy trends is required. This evaluation is vital for the future of school and society.

The Imaginationless Generation

Lessons from Ancient Culture on Regulating New Media

Nachshon Goltz and Tracey Dowdeswell

In the present-day Tower of Babylon—the all-encompassing virtual world built of image layered upon image—children are the most vulnerable users. If we permit them unfettered access to media that promotes corporate and consumer values, while suppressing their cognitive development and creative imagination, then an ‘imaginationless generation’ may be our grim and inevitable future.
This book takes the reader, whether an academic, a parent or an educator, through a startling journey from the harms lurking in the virtual worlds—to children’s health and well-being, to how they deal with representations of violence and sexuality, as well as exposure to cyberbullying, advertising, Internet Addiction Disorder, and even exploitation. The most dangerous harm is unseen, and affects the innermost realm of a child’s psyche: the imagination. The authors discuss the current global regulatory framework that makes the protection of children ever more challenging. They discuss lessons learned from the ways that courts have negotiated free speech issues, as well as the research on parental mediation of children’s Internet use in the home. Finally, they move towards a bold new attempt at understanding regulation, by drawing lessons for new media from ancient culture.
In The Imagionationless Generation, the authors pioneer an attempt to address the real harms that children face in virtual realities by presenting a new and paradigm shifting theory—the Media Engagement. They follow the theory’s insights and predictions to offer a new perspective on a burning question of our time—how to protect children online. This multidisciplinary intellectual voyage and its insights are only possible by standing on the shoulders of scholars who have gone before, such as Ellul, Baudrillard, McLuhan, Postman and Piaget, to name a few.
As academics, parents and concerned human beings, the authors present here the results of more than twenty years of research in a way that should appeal to a wide variety of readers, as they stretch our understanding of the human-machine interface beyond right and wrong. This book shapes our understanding of media in the digital age in much the same way that McLuhan’s Understanding Media did for a previous generation.