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Education > Philosophy and Social Aspects

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Class Degrees Cover

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Class Degrees

Smart Work, Managed Choice, and the Transformation of Higher Education

Evan Watkins

A current truism holds that the undergraduate degree today is equivalent to the high-school diploma of yesterday. But undergraduates at a research university would probably not recognize themselves in the historical mirror of high-school vocational education. Students in a vast range of institutions are encouraged to look up the educational social scale, whereas earlier vocational education was designed to cool outexpectations of social advancement by training a working class prepared for massive industrialization.In Class Degrees, Evan Watkins argues that reforms in vocational education in the 1980s and 1990s can explain a great deal about the changing directions of class formation in the United States, as well as how postsecondary educational institutions are changing. Responding to a demand for flexibility in job skills and reflecting a consequent aspiration to choice and perpetual job mobility, those reforms aimed to eliminate the separate academic status of vocational education. They transformed it from a cooling outto a heating upof class expectations. The result has been a culture of hyperindividualism. The hyperindividual lives in a world permeated with against-all-odds plots, from beat the oddsof long supermarket checkout lines by using self-checkout and buying FasTrak transponders to beat the odds of traffic jams, to the endless superheroes on film and TV who daily save various sorts of planets and things against all odds.Of course, a few people can beat the odds only if most other people do not. As choice begins to replace the selling of individual labor at the core of contemporary class formation, the result is a sort of waste labor left behind by the competitive process. Provocatively, Watkins argues that, in the twenty-first century, academic work in the humanities is assuming the management function of reclaiming this waste labor as a motor force for the future.

The Crisis of Meaning Cover

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The Crisis of Meaning

In Culture and Education

David Trend

The Crisis of Meaning was first published in 1995. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

Pick up any newspaper and it is clear that the United States is facing a democratic crisis. Recent culture wars and debates about political correctness and culture have illustrated how conventional definitions of citizenship and national identity have been thrown into question.

Investigating what he views as an inseparable link between culture and politics, David Trend analyzes how notions of patriotism, citizenship, community, and family are communicated within specific public and private institutions. He extends the meaning and purpose of pedagogy as a cultural practice outside the classroom, focusing on political activism in education, the mass media, and the art world.

The Crisis of Meaning supplies a crucial theoretical understanding of the ways in which the pedagogical and political intersect at a variety of cultural sites, as it points us toward a "democratic" process of national identity formation. It is indispensable reading for anyone interested in the connections between education and politics.

David Trend is executive director of the Center for Social Research and Education in San Francisco and also executive editor of the Socialist Review. He is the author of Cultural Pedagogy: Art/Education/Politics (1992).

Dewey, Russell, Whitehead Philosophers as Educators Cover

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Dewey, Russell, Whitehead Philosophers as Educators

#REF!

Brian Hendley

Hendley argues that philosophers of edu­cation should reject their preoccupation with defining terms and analyzing concepts and once again embrace the philosophical task of con­structing general theories of education.  Hendley believes that like Dewey, Russell, and Whitehead, philosophers should take a more ac­tive, practical role in education.

Does God Belong in Public Schools? Cover

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Does God Belong in Public Schools?

Kent Greenawalt

Controversial Supreme Court decisions have barred organized school prayer, but neither the Court nor public policy exclude religion from schools altogether. In this book, one of America's leading constitutional scholars asks what role religion ought to play in public schools. Kent Greenawalt explores many of the most divisive issues in educational debate, including teaching about the origins of life, sex education, and when--or whether--students can opt out of school activities for religious reasons.

Using these and other case studies, Greenawalt considers how to balance the country's constitutional commitment to personal freedoms and to the separation of church and state with the vital role that religion has always played in American society. Do we risk distorting students' understanding of America's past and present by ignoring religion in public-school curricula? When does teaching about religion cross the line into the promotion of religion?

Tracing the historical development of religion within public schools and considering every major Supreme Court case, Greenawalt concludes that the bans on school prayer and the teaching of creationism are justified, and that the court should more closely examine such activities as the singing of religious songs and student papers on religious topics. He also argues that students ought to be taught more about religion--both its contributions and shortcomings--especially in courses in history. To do otherwise, he writes, is to present a seriously distorted picture of society and indirectly to be other than neutral in presenting secularism and religion.

Written with exemplary clarity and even-handedness, this is a major book about some of the most pressing and contentious issues in educational policy and constitutional law today.

Educated in Whiteness Cover

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Educated in Whiteness

Good Intentions and Diversity in Schools

Angelina E. Castagno


Educators across the nation are engaged in well-meaning efforts to address diversity in schools given the current context of NCLB, Race to the Top, and the associated pressures of standardization and accountability. Through rich ethnographic accounts of teachers in two demographically different secondary schools in the same urban district, Angelina E. Castagno investigates how whiteness operates in ways that thwart (and sometimes co-opt) even the best intentions and common sense—thus resulting in educational policies and practices that reinforce the status quo and protect whiteness rather than working toward greater equity.

Whereas most discussions of the education of diverse students focus on the students and families themselves, Educated in Whiteness highlights the structural and ideological mechanisms of whiteness. In schools, whiteness remains dominant by strengthening and justifying the status quo while simultaneously preserving a veneer of neutrality, equality, and compassion. Framed by critical race theory and whiteness studies, this book employs concepts like interest convergence, a critique of liberalism, and the possessive investment in whiteness to better understand diversity-related educational policy and practice.

Although in theory most diversity-related educational policies and practices are intended to bring about greater equity, too often in practice they actually maintain, legitimate, and so perpetuate whiteness. Castagno not only sheds light on this disconnect between the promises and practices of diversity-related initiatives but also provides insight into why the disconnect persists.

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Education and Culture

Vol. 22 (2006) through current issue

Education and Culture, an international peer reviewed journal published twice yearly by Purdue University Press, takes an integrated view of philosophical, historical, and sociological issues in education. Included are articles of Dewey scholarship, as well as work inspired by Dewey’s many interests.

Education and Middle-Class Society in Imperial Austria, 1848-1918 Cover

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Education and Middle-Class Society in Imperial Austria, 1848-1918

by Gary Cohen

This study, the first English-language book on advanced education in the Austrian lands during the nineteenth century, is recommended for scholars and students in the history of education, modern social history, and the history of the Habsburg Monarchy.

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Education and the Creative Potential

E. Torrance

Education and the Creative Potential was first published in 1963. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.Modern School Practices Series, Number 5How can we identify creative children? What makes them different from other youngsters, and what happens to them in today’s schools? How can we improve our schools to make the most of our creative potential? Dr. Torrance, a leading educational psychologist, discussed such challenging questions and proposes challenges in the schools which will give children a better chance to learn and think creatively. He summarizes much of what is known about the conditions which nurture or inhibit creative growth and reports on a series of original, exploratory studies concerned with the problems of testing creative ability or potentiality and the influence of various factors on the development of creativity.This book is recommended by the National Council of Teachers of English as a standard reference for high school English classrooms and departments.

Education for Democracy Cover

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Education for Democracy

Essays and Addresses

John Johnston

Education for Democracy was first published in 1934. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.“The Greek ideal of the citizen realizing himself in the state” is the heart of Dean Johnston’s philosophy developed in this book. He is concerned not merely with education, but with our current economic, political, social, and ethical problems, which education directed toward service to the state may help to solve.This is a book in which an ideal rather than a theory of education is clearly stated at the beginning, and developed like a theme in music. The author, speaking from a long and varied experience as scientist, teacher, and college administrator, sees the only hope of a future democratic state in the selection and training of competent and unselfish leaders.This selection, he firmly believes, is the task of the schools and especially of the colleges. By “selection” he means – he is careful to point out – not the exclusion of any capable person from higher education, but a careful fitting of every individual for the occupation in which he will be most happy and will render the best service to society.The papers collected here all deal with some variation of this theme. They draw up a striking indictment of many current educational practices, while pointing the way, as this prominent educator sees it, toward the alleviation of that “social manic-depressive insanity” with which our civilization is now afflicted.

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