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Education > Philosophy and Social Aspects

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Adolescent Lives in Transition Cover

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Adolescent Lives in Transition

How Social Class Influences the Adjustment to Middle School

Addressing the issues of educational equity and social class diversity, Donna Marie San Antonio documents the challenges adolescents face when making the transition from elementary school to middle school. The book explores the values, resources, and ways of interacting that students from diverse economic backgrounds bring from their families and communities, and how they are enabled or discouraged from integrating these assets in their new school environment.

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African-Centered Pedagogy

Developing Schools of Achievement for African American Children

What can teachers, administrators, families, and communities do to create schools that provide rich learning experiences for African American children? Based on a critical reinterpretation of several key educational frameworks, African-Centered Pedagogy is a practical guide to accomplished teaching. Murrell suggests integrating the historical, cultural, political, and developmental considerations of the African American experience into a unified system of instruction, bringing to light those practices that already exist and linking them to contemporary ideas and innovations that concern effective practice in African American communities. This is then applied through a case study analysis of a school seeking to incorporate the unified theory and embrace African-centered practice. Murrell argues that key educational frameworks—although currently ineffective with African American children—hold promise if reinterpreted.

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After-Education

Anna Freud, Melanie Klein, and Psychoanalytic Histories of Learning

In After-Education Deborah P. Britzman raises the startling question, What is education that it should give us such trouble? She explores a series of historic and contemporary psychoanalytic arguments over the nature of reality and fantasy for thinking through the force and history of education. Drawing from the theories of Anna Freud and Melanie Klein, she analyzes experiences of difficult knowledge, pedagogy, group psychology, theory, and questions of loneliness in learning education. Throughout the book, education appears and is transformed in its various guises: as a nervous condition, as social relation, as authority, as psychological knowledge, as quality of psychical reality, as fact of natality, as the thing between teachers and students, as an institution, and as a play between reality and fantasy.

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Anatomy of a Crisis

Education, Development, and the State in Cambodia, 19531998

David M. Ayres

In 1993, the United Nations sponsored national elections in Cambodia, signaling the international community's commitment to the rehabilitation and reconstruction of what was, by any measure, a shattered and torn society. Cambodia's economy was stagnant. The education system was in complete disarray: Students had neither pens nor books, teachers were poorly trained, and classrooms were literally crumbling. Few of the individuals and organizations responsible for financing, planning, and implementing Cambodia's post-election development thought it necessary to ask why the country's economy and society were in such a parlous state. The mass graves scattered throughout the countryside provided an obvious explanation. The appalling state of the education system, many argued, could be directly attributed to the fact that among the 1.7 million victims of Pol Pot's holocaust were thousands of students, teachers, technocrats, and intellectuals. In this exacting and insightful examination of the crisis in Cambodian education, David M. Ayres challenges the widespread belief that the key to Cambodia's future development and prosperity lies in overcoming the dreadful legacy of Khmer Rouge. He seeks to explain why Cambodia has struggled with an educational crisis for more that four decades (including the years before the Khmer Rouge came to power in 1975) and thus casts the net of his analysis well beyond Pol Pot and his accomplices. Drawing on an extensive range of sources, Ayres clearly shows that Cambodia's educational dilemma--the disparity between the education system and the economic, political, and cultural environments, which it should serve--can be explained by setting education within its historical and cultural contexts. Themes of tradition, modernity, change, and changelessness are linked with culturally entrenched notions of power, hierarchy, and leadership to clarify why education funding is promised but rarely delivered, why schools are built where they are not needed, why plans are enthusiastically embraced but never implemented, and why contracts and agreements are ignored almost immediately after they are signed. Anatomy of a Crisis will be compulsory reading for anyone with an interest in education and development issues, as well as Cambodian society, culture, politics, and history.

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Anne Sexton

Teacher of Weird Abundance

A Pulitzer Prize–winning poet who confessed the unrelenting anguish of addiction and depression, Anne Sexton (1928–1974) was also a dedicated teacher. In this book, Paula M. Salvio opens up Sexton’s classroom, uncovering a teacher who willfully demonstrated that the personal could also be plural. Looking at how Sexton framed and used the personal in teaching and learning, Salvio considers the extent to which our histories—both personal and social—exert their influence on teaching. In doing so, she situates the teaching life of Anne Sexton at the center of some of the key problems and questions in feminist teaching: navigating the appropriate distance between teacher and student, the relationship between writer and poetic subject, and the relationship between emotional life and knowledge. Examining Sexton’s pedagogy, with its “weird abundance” of tactics and strategies, Salvio argues that Sexton’s use of the autobiographical “I” is as much a literary identity as a literal identity, one that can speak with great force to educators who recognize its vital role in the humanities classroom.

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Anti-Racist Scholarship

An Advocacy

Offers discussion and examples of how white scholars can use anti-racist scholarship as part of the long-term civil rights struggle to create real equality in the United States. Most would agree that racism is a moral and spiritual violation of the human spirit and the human community and one of the most destructive social problems in the United States. In this thought-provoking and challenging book, Scheurich contends that white racism is interwoven within social science research, social institutions such as public education, and society in general, directly destroying any legitimate claim to democracy. This volume offers discussions and examples of how white scholars can use anti-racist scholarship as part of the long-term civil rights struggle to create real equality in the United States. Other scholars, who both agree and disagree with Scheurich’s perspective, contribute to the volume.

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Arts of Living

Reinventing the Humanities for the Twenty-first Century

Arts of Living presents a social history of the humanities and a proposal for the future that places creativity at the heart of higher education. Engaging with the debate launched by Allan Bloom, Harold Bloom, Bill Readings, John Guillory, and others, Kurt Spellmeyer argues that higher education needs to abandon the “culture wars” if it hopes to address the major crises of the century: globalization, the degradation of the environment, the widening chasm between rich and poor, and the clash of cultures.

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Between Femininities

Ambivalence, Identity, and the Education of Girls

Arguing for a recognition of the contradictory and ambivalent identifications that both attract and repel those who live the social category “girl,” Marnina Gonick analyzes the discourses and practices defining female sexuality, embodiment, relationship to self and other, material culture, use of social space, and cultural-political agency and power. Based on a school-community project involving collaborative production of a video which tells the stories of several fictional girl characters, Gonick examines the contradictory and textured structure of the discourses available to girls through which their identities are negotiated. Woven throughout the book is the integral concern with the way in which ethnographic writing as a discursive practice is also implicated in the production and signification of social identities for girls.

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Beyond Affirmative Action

Reframing the Context of Higher Education

    A century ago, universities were primarily in the business of molding upper-class young men for the professions. The world has changed, and universities have been forced to keep pace by experimenting with affirmative action, curriculum overhauls, part-time degree programs, and the like. But at the core of the modern university establishment is an ingrained academic culture that has operated in the same ways for centuries, contends Robert Ibarra, and in Beyond Affirmative Action, he calls for a complete paradigm shift.
     Why does academic culture, he asks, emphasize individual achievement over teamwork? Why do so many exams test discrete bits of knowledge rather than understanding of the big picture? Why is tenure awarded for scholarly publications rather than for sharing knowledge in diverse ways with students and a wider community? Why do undergraduates drop out? And why do so many bright graduate students and junior faculty—including many minorities, women, and some majority males—become disenchanted with academia or fail to be accepted and rewarded by the tenured faculty?
    Ibarra introduces a theory of "multicontextuality," which proposes that many people learn better when teachers emphasize whole systems of knowledge and that education can create its greatest successes by offering and accepting many approaches to teaching and learning. This revolutionary paradigm also addresses why current thinking about academic systems and organizational culture, affirmative action, and diversity must be revised. Ibarra bases his groundbreaking proposals upon his own synthesis of findings from anthropological, educational, and psychological studies of how people from various cultures learn, as well as findings from extended interviews he conducted with Latinos and Latinas who pursued graduate degrees and then either became university faculty or chose other careers. From his perspectives as a practicing anthropologist, teacher, researcher, and administrator, Ibarra provides a blueprint for change that will interest:
    o Administrators developing campus strategic plans
    o Boards, commissions, and agencies making policy for educational institutions
    o Students and faculty struggling to find ways that academia can serve multiple constituencies
    o Academic and career advisors to students
    o Researchers in cognitive psychology, sociology, anthropology, education, and ethnic studies
    o Businesses rethinking their organizational cultures and strategies

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Burning Down the House

Politics, Governance, and Affirmative Action at the University of California

Burning Down the House presents a riveting analysis of one of the most nationally prominent and bitterly contested policy battles in the history of American higher education: the struggle to eliminate affirmative action at the University of California. A timely and essential addition to the literature on affirmative action, it examines the political, economic, legal, and organizational factors that shaped the debate in California and offers unique insight into the contemporary politics of admissions policy, university governance, and the role of higher education in broader state and national political contests to come.

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