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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.
Vol. 37, no. 1 (2003) through current issue
The Journal of Aesthetic Education (JAE) is a highly respected interdisciplinary journal that focuses on clarifying the issues of aesthetic education understood in its most extensive meaning. The Journal thus welcomes articles on philosophical aesthetics and education, to problem areas in education critical to arts and humanities at all institutional levels ; to an understanding of the aesthetic import of the new communications media and environmental aesthetics; and to an understanding of the aesthetic character of humanistic disciplines. The journal should is a valuable resource not only to educators, but also to philosophers, art critics and art historians.
Social Class and Schooling in the New Economy
Late to Class presents theoretical, empirical, and pedagogical perspectives on social class and schooling in the United States. Grounding their analyses at the intersections of class, ethnicity, gender, geography, and schooling, the contributors examine the educational experiences of poor, working class, and middle class students against the backdrop of complicated class stratification in a shifting global economy. Together, they explore the salience of class in understanding the social, economic, and cultural landscapes within which young people in the United States come to understand the meaning of their formal education in times of changing opportunity.
Levinas, Psychoanalysis, and Ethical Possibilities in Education
Learning from the Other presents a philosophical investigation into the ethical possibilities of education, especially social justice education. In this original treatment, Sharon Todd rethinks the ethical basis of responsibility as emerging out of the everyday and complex ways we engage difference within educational settings. She works through the implications of the productive tension between the thought of Emmanuel Levinas and that of Sigmund Freud, Melanie Klein, Judith Butler, Cornelius Castoriadis, and others. Challenging the idea that knowledge about the other is the answer to questions of responsibility, she proposes that responsibility is rooted instead in a learning from the other. The author focuses on empathy, love, guilt, and listening to highlight the complex nature of learning from difference and to probe where the conditions for ethical possibility might lie.
How Computers Affect Education, Cultural Diversity, and the Prospects of Ecological Sustainability
Contrary to the attitudes that have been marketed and taught to us, says C. A. Bowers, the fact is that computers operate on a set of Western cultural assumptions and a market economy that drives consumption. Our indoctrination includes the view of global computing innovations as inevitable and on a par with social progress--a perspective dismayingly suggestive of the mindset that engendered the vast cultural and ecological disruptions of the industrial revolution and world colonialism.
In Let Them Eat Data Bowers discusses important issues that have fallen into the gap between our perceptions and the realities of global computing, including the misuse of the theory of evolution to justify and legitimate the global spread of computers, and the ecological and cultural implications of unmooring knowledge from its local contexts as it is digitized, commodified, and packaged for global consumption. He also suggests ways that educators can help us think more critically about technology.
Let Them Eat Data is essential reading if we are to begin democratizing technological decisions, conserving true cultural diversity and intergenerational forms of knowledge, and living within the limits and possibilities of the earth's natural systems.
School Finance in the Northeast
In this timely work, Jane Fowler Morse reviews the history of school finance litigation in the United States and then examines recent legal and political struggles to obtain equitable school funding in New York, Vermont, and Ontario. These three places have employed strikingly different strategies to address this issue, and Morse analyzes lessons learned at each that will benefit both public officials and citizens interested in seeking reform elsewhere. Drawing on writers from Aristotle to Cass Sunstein and Martin Luther King Jr., she also explores the concepts of social justice and equity, highlighting the connections between racism, poverty, and school funding. The result is a passionate plea for equitable funding of public education nationwide to instantiate the ideal of “liberty and justice for all.”
Reexamining Emmanuel Levinas's essays on Jewish education, Claire Elise Katz provides new insights into the importance of education and its potential to transform a democratic society, for Levinas's larger philosophical project. Katz examines Levinas's "Crisis of Humanism," which motivated his effort to describe a new ethical subject. Taking into account his multiple influences on social science and the humanities, and his various identities as a Jewish thinker, philosopher, and educator, Katz delves deeply into Levinas's works to understand the grounding of this ethical subject.
Confronting the Learning Crisis in Mathematics and Science
Based on a three-year study of the National Science Foundation’s Urban Systemic Initiative, Meaningful Urban Education Reform is an overview of recent attempts to change teaching in mathematics and science in urban environments. The book evaluates the impact of educational reform on urban schools, determines how schools with the highest levels of poverty in the United States can make successful changes, and investigates how communities and policy makers contribute to student achievement. Contributors provide compelling portraits of classrooms, teachers, and students in elementary, middle, and high schools through case studies and examples from intensive research in four locations: Chicago, El Paso, Memphis, and Miami. They interviewed, observed, and gathered information from district administrators, school principals, teachers, students and their parents, and community members. The book provides valuable insight into how systemic reform works, offers suggestions regarding assessment of successful learning environments, and addresses the need for intensive, long-term professional development for the purpose of engaging teachers with their colleagues in communities of practice supported by a strong school culture.
A Philosophical Reconstruction of Modernism for Existential Learning
Explores the contemporary pedagogical significance of modernism. Mediumism considers what the modernist movement in the arts could mean for us today. It examines how artists and critics, particularly in the visual arts, responded to the growth of industries of distraction since the nineteenth century by creating new kinds of artworks that stress their mediums. René V. Arcilla draws out the metaphysical and ethical implications of the work of critics Clement Greenberg, T. J. Clark, and Michael Fried from a perspective rooted in existentialism. He finds in the resulting moral orientation a way to understand the distinctive purpose of liberal education and its political resistance to consumerism. Eschewing terminology that would be familiar to only one set of specialists, the book aims to be accessible to a general audience as well as to readers interested in modernist art, cultural politics, existentialist philosophy, and the philosophical principles of liberal education.