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A Journey into Radical Progressive Education
Free School Teaching is the personal and professional journey of one teacher within the American educational system. Faced with mounting frustrations in her own traditional, middle school classroom and having little success in resolving them, Kristan Accles Morrison decided to seek out answers, first by immersing herself in the academic literature of critical education theory and then by turning to the field. While the literature on progressive education gave her hope that things could be different and better for students locked into America’s traditional education system, she wanted to find a firsthand example of how these ideas played out in practice. Morrison found a radical “free school” in Albany, New York, that embodied the ideas found in the literature, and over a period of three months she observed and documented differences between alternative and traditional schools. In trying to reconcile the gap between those systems, Morrison details the lessons she learned about teachers, students, curriculum, and the entire conception of why we educate our children.
Academic and Social Responsibilities of Universities in Africa
This book, slim as it looks, took Bernard Nsokika Fonlon the best part of five laborious years to write 1965-9 inclusive. He writes: "I was penning away as students in France were up in arms against the academic Establishment, and their fury almost toppled a powerful, prestigious, political giant like General de Gaulle. In America students, arms in hand, besieged and stormed the buildings of the University Administration, others blew up lecture halls in Canada - the student revolt, a very saeva indignatio, was in paroxysm. But in England (save in the London School of Economics where students rioted for the lame reason that the College gate looked like that of a jail-house) all was calm..." Fonlon drew on these events to define the role of university education in this precious treasure of a book, which he dedicates to every African freshman and freshwoman. The book details his reflections and vision on the scientific and philosophical Nature, End and Purpose of university studies. He calls on African students to harness the Scientific Method in their quest for Truth, and to put the specialised knowledge they acquire to the benefit of the commonwealth first, then, to themselves. To do this effectively, universities must jealously protect academic freedom from all non-academic interferences. For any university that does not teach a student to think critically and in total freedom has taught him or her nothing of genuine worth. Universities are and must remain sacred places and spaces for the forging of genuine intellectuals imbued with skills and zeal to assume and promote social responsibilities with self abnegation.
Moral Perfectionism and Education in Dewey and Emerson
In the name of efficiency, the practice of education has come to be dominated by neoliberal ideology andprocedures of standardization and quantification. Such attempts to make all aspects of practice transparent and subject to systematic accounting lack sensitivity to the invisible and the silent, to something in the humancondition that cannot readily be expressed in an either-or form. Seeking alternatives to such trends, Saito readsDewey's idea of progressive education through the lens of Emersonian moral perfectionism (to borrow a term coined by Stanley Cavell). She elucidates a spiritual and aesthetic dimension to Dewey's notion of growth, one considerably richer than what Dewey alone presents in his typically scientific terminology.
Classical Education in America
The pragmatic demands of American life have made higher education's sustained study of ancient Greece and Rome an irrelevant luxury, ;and this despite the fact that American democracy depends so heavily on classical language, literature, and political theory. In The Grammar of Our Civility, Lee T. Pearcy chronicles how this came to be. Pearcy argues that classics never developed a distinctly American way of responding to distinctly American social conditions. Instead, American classical education simply imitated European models that were designed to underwrite European culture. The Grammar of Our Civility also offers a concrete proposal for the role of classical education, one that takes into account practical expectations for higher education in twenty-first century America.
Talking about Religion and Morality in Public Schools
Weaving together history, philosophy, and curriculum, Grappling with the Good offers a vision of public education in which students learn to engage respectfully with the diversity of beliefs about how to live together in society. Robert Kunzman argues that we can and should help students learn how to talk about religion and morality, and bring together our differing visions of life. He describes how such an approach might work in the K–12 setting, explores central philosophical principles, and shares his ongoing experiences and insights in helping students to “grapple with the good.”
Writing Beyond the Curriclum in the City of Brotherly Love
In Gravyland, Parks chronicles the history of an urban university writing program and its attempt to develop politically progressive literacy partnerships with the surrounding community while having to work within and against a traditional educational and cultural landscape. He details the experience of the New City Writing program at Temple University from its beginning as a small institute with one program at a local public school to a multi-faceted organization, raising millions of dollars, and establishing partnerships across the diverse neighborhoods of Philadelphia. In doing so, the author describes classrooms where the community takes a seat and becomes part of the conversation—a conversation which is recorded and shared through a selection of writing produced. While Parks celebrates classroom success in generating knowledge through dialog with the larger community, he also highlights many of the obstacles the organizers of the New City Writing program faced. The author shows that writing alliances between universities and communities are possible but they must take into account the institutional, economic, and political pressures that accompany such partnerships. Blending the theoretical and practical lessons learned, Parks details New City Writing’s effort to offer a new model of education, one in which the voice of the professor must share space with the voices of the community, and one in which students come to understand that the right to sit in a classroom is not just the result of war, but of peaceful civil disobedience, of community struggles to gain self-recognition, and of collective efforts to seek social justice.
A Critical Engagement with Dewey's Democracy and Education
These original essays focus on John Dewey’s Democracy and Education, a book widely regarded as one of the greatest works ever written in the history of educational thought. The contributors address Dewey’s still powerful argument that education is not a preparation for life, but rather constitutes a fundamental aspect of the very experience of living. The authors examine Dewey’s central themes, including the dynamics of human communication, the nature of growth, the relation between democracy and education, and the importance of recognizing student agency. They link their analyses with contemporary educational concerns and problems, offering ideas about what the curriculum for children and youth should be, how to prepare teachers for the profession, what pedagogical approaches make the most sense given societal trends, and how to reconstruct the purposes of school. This first book-length study of Dewey’s extraordinary text attests to the continued power in his work and to the diverse audience of educators to whom he has long appealed.
Many contemporary constructivists are particularly attuned to Dewey's penetrating criticism of traditional epistemology, which offers rich alternatives for understanding processes of learning and education, knowledge and truth, and experience and culture. This book, the result of cooperation between the Center for Dewey Studies at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and the Dewey Center at the University of Cologne, provides an excellent example of the international character of pragmatist studies against the backdrop of constructivist concerns. As a part of their exploration of the many points of contact between classical pragmatism and contemporary constructivism, its contributors turn their attention to theories of interaction and transaction, communication and culture, learning and education, community and democracy, theory and practice, and inquiry and methods.Part One is a basic survey of Dewey's pragmatism and its implications for contemporary constructivism. Part Two examines the implications of the connections between Deweyan pragmatism and contemporary constructivism. Part Three presents a lively exchange among the contributors, as they challenge one another and defend their positions and perspectives. As they seek common ground, they articulate concepts such as power, truth, relativism, inquiry, and democracy from pragmatist and interactive constructivist vantage points in ways that are designed to render the preceding essays even more accessible. This concluding discussion demonstrates both the enduring relevance of classical pragmatism and the challenge of its reconstruction from the perspective of the Cologne program of interactive constructivism.