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Education > Philosophy and Social Aspects

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Stanley Cavell and the Education of Grownups Cover

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Stanley Cavell and the Education of Grownups

Naoko Saito

What could it mean to speak of philosophy as the education of grownups? This book takes Stanley Cavell's much-quoted, yet enigmatic phrase as the provocation for a series of explorations into themes of education that run throughout his work - through his response to Wittgenstein, Austin and ordinary language philosophy, through his readings of Thoreau and of the moral perfectionism he identifies with Emerson, through his discussions of literature and film. Hilary Putnam has described Cavell not only as one of the most creative thinkers of today but as amongst the few contemporary philosophers to explore the territory of philosophy as education. Yet in mainstream philosophy his work is apt to be referred to rather than engaged with, and the full import of his writings for education is still to be appreciated. Cavell engages in a sustained exploration of the nature of philosophy, and this is not separable from his preoccupation with what it is to teach and to learn, with the kinds of transformation these might imply, and with the significance of these things for our language and politics, for our lives as a whole.In recent years Cavell's work has been the subject of a number of books of essays, but this is the first to address directly the importance of education in his work. Such matters cannot fail to be of significance not only for the disciplinary fields of philosophy and education, but in politics, literature, and film studies - and in the humanities as a whole. A substantial introduction provides an overview of the philosophical purchase of questions of education in his work, while the essays are framed by two new pieces by Cavell himself. The book shows what it means to read Cavell, and simultaneously what it means to read philosophically, in itself a part of our education as grownups.

The Teacher's Attention: Why Our Kids Must and Can Get Smaller Schools and Classes Cover

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The Teacher's Attention: Why Our Kids Must and Can Get Smaller Schools and Classes

The Teacher’s Attention is a fresh take on relationships in schools. Looking beyond our obsession with raising test scores, this book recognizes that education is a key partner in raising children. Garrett Delavan contends that allowing students, educators and parents to navigate a smaller number of relationships—a concept he calls "relationship load"—provides many benefits, including a better chance at achieving equal access to a good education for all children.

Delavan shows how class size, school size, and longer-term student-teacher relationships are all equally critical components for educating our children ethically and successfully. After examining these proposed reforms in detail, Delavan also considers counterarguments and provides a detailed projection of costs and savings, putting to rest the assumption that smaller classes and smaller schools are necessarily more expensive. Finally, the book discusses possible steps toward implementation, showing how the author's proposed reforms are remarkably practical.

Teaching about Religions Cover

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Teaching about Religions

A Democratic Approach for Public Schools

Emile Lester

"This provocative and timely book challenges Americans to rethink what it means to take democracy and religious freedom seriously in public education. Emile Lester takes the reader beyond culture war conflicts rooted in religious divisions and offers bold, new solutions for addressing our differences with fairness and robust toleration. Instead of battlegrounds, he argues, public schools can and should be places that include all voices in ways that prepare citizens to engage one another with civility and respect. Teaching about Religions is essential reading for all who care about the future of public schools---and the health of American democracy." --- Charles C. Haynes, Senior Scholar, Freedom Forum First Amendment Center "More than simply a synthesis of existing scholarship, [this book is] an original contribution to the field. [The] major themes are timely, and this book might well contribute to public discussion of important issues in our culture wars." ---Warren Nord, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill "Arriving in the wake of a bitter battle over the place of Islam in America and in the midst of calls for greater understanding and civility, Emile Lester's new book is a timely contribution to the debate about the best ways to teach about religion in our nation's public schools. A pioneering researcher in this field, Lester offers thoughtful critiques of existing proposals as well as fresh ideas. His recommendations reflect painstaking efforts to understand the concerns of groups (most notably, conservative Christians) to which he does not belong, and a firm grasp of the difference between fostering understanding of other faiths and pressing for acceptance of them. Lester's prescriptions, always informed and fair-minded and sometimes provocative, should drive the debate forward in productive ways." ---Melissa Rogers, Director, Center for Religion and Public Affairs at Wake Forest University School of Divinity and Nonresident Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution Frequent news stories about the debates waged between secularists and religious conservatives have convinced most Americans that public schools must choose between promoting respect for religious minorities and respecting the interests of conservative Christians. As a result, public schools fail to teach students about the meaning and value of protecting religious liberty and consequently perpetuate mistrust across the cultural divide, further empower extremists, and obscure the fact that most Americans of all religious backgrounds share a commitment to basic democratic principles. In response, the public schools in the religiously diverse and divided community of Modesto, California, have introduced a widely acclaimed required world religions course. Drawing on groundbreaking research on the creation of and response to the Modesto course as well as on political philosophy, Emile Lester advocates a civic approach to teaching about religion in public schools that at once emphasizes respect for all views about religion and provides a special recognition of conservative Christian beliefs.

Teaching as Believing Cover

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Teaching as Believing

Faith in the University

Chris Anderson

The public university classroom is a place where socialization still occurs: it's where students learn to be citizens of the world. Having attended to political correctness and multi-culturalism, universities are now facing the issue of spirituality in their quest to educate the whole person. In this book, Chris Anderson takes up this task by carefully exploring how a professor of faith can help a public university accomplish its pluralistic mission. Anderson illustrates how the study of secular literature throws fresh light on the ways in which the Bible can be read. He also deftly shows how a sympathetic study of the Bible trains secular readers for understanding the abiding significance of the Western literary canon as a kind of scripture. Anderson thus gives readers a book that is as much about the experience of a faithful teacher and the proper ends of education as it is about discovering the right ways to read texts, be they sacred or secular.

To Export Progress Cover

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To Export Progress

The Golden Age of University Assistance in the Americas

Daniel C. Levy

"An immensely valuable and detailed analysis of foreign, mainly American, assistance to Latin American higher education, To Export Progress provides an understanding of the 'what' and the 'why' of foreign aid to a key sector. This book will be a classic in its field." -- Philip G. Altbach, Monan Professor of Higher Education, Boston College

"Professor Daniel C. Levy, a leading authority in the field of higher education and the nonprofit sector in Latin America, once again has opened an otherwise neglected field through his carefully researched and reported study of philanthropic support for university reform in the region. Drawing on a wealth of archival material, documentary evidence, interviews, and first hand experience with the actors and agencies involved, To Export Progress illuminates the vision and ideals inspiring international agencies, as much as the realities they confronted in deciding on grants and loans policy, from the 1960s to the 1980s. The book is strongly recommended for scholars and students of international education, for Latin American experts, and for philanthropic managers and educational administrators in the developing world." -- Jorge Balan, Senior Program Officer for Higher Education, The Ford Foundation.

In this study of the attempts to export the modern Western university, its ideas, and its form to the Third World, Daniel C. Levy examines the development assistance provided by the Ford Foundation, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Inter-American Development Bank and their relations with local partners in Latin America in the 1960s and 1970s. Levy considers the funders, how they selected partners, which countries and institutions were favored, and to what effect. Based on meticulous research and careful analysis, the book provides a detailed look at philanthropic assistance to the region during the era of modernization and development in Latin America.

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Transforming Ourselves, Transforming the World

Justice in Jesuit Higher Education

Mary Beth Combs

Transforming Ourselves, Transforming the World is an insightful collection that articulates how Jesuit colleges and universities create an educational community energized to transform the lives of its students, faculty, and administrators and to equip them to transform a broken world. The essays are rooted in Pedro Arrupe's ideal of forming men and women for others and inspired by Peter-Hans Kolvenbach's October 2000 address at Santa Clara in which he identified three areas where the promotion of justice may be manifested in our institutions: formation and learning, research and teaching, and our way of proceeding. Using the three areas laid out in Fr. Kolvenbach's address as its organizing structure, this stimulating volume addresses the following challenges: How do we promote student life experiences and service? How does interdisciplinary collaborative research promote teaching and reflection? How do our institutions exemplify justice in their daily practices? Introductory pieces by internationally acclaimed authors such as Rev. Dean Brackley, S.J.; David J. O'Brien; Lisa Sowle Cahill; and Rev. Stephen A. Privett, S.J., pave the way for a range of smart and highly creative essays that illustrate and honor the scholarship, teaching, and service that have developed out of a commitment to the ideals of Jesuit higher education. The topics covered span disciplines and fields from the arts to engineering, from nursing to political science and law. The essays offer numerous examples of engaged pedagogy, which as Rev. Brackley points out fits squarely with Jesuit pedagogy: insertion programs, community-based learning, study abroad, internships, clinical placements, and other forms of interacting with the poor and with cultures other than our own. This book not only illustrates the dynamic growth of Jesuit education but critically identifies key challenges for educators, such as: How can we better address issues of race in our teaching and learning? Are we educating in nonviolence? How can we make the college or university "greener"? How can we evoke a desire for the faith that does justice? Transforming Ourselves, Transforming the World is an indispensable volume that has the potential to act as an academic facilitator for the promotion of justice within not only Jesuit schools but all schools of higher education.

Transforming Students Cover

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Transforming Students

Fulfilling the Promise of Higher Education

Charity Johansson and Peter Felten

The recent trend of trying to measure higher education’s return on investment misses a fundamental point, argue Charity Johansson and Peter Felten. The central purpose of a college or university is to transform the lives of students—not to merely change them or help them mature. This transformation is an ongoing process of intentionally aligning one’s behavior with one’s core sense of personal identity. It is the university’s central role to lead students in this transformation, a process that shapes students into intentional, critical, and engaged individuals. Recognizing the remarkable influence of the college experience on peoples’ lives, the authors offer a guide to how colleges and universities can effectively lead students through this life-changing process. Drawn from extensive interviews with students and graduates, faculty and staff, Transforming Students gathers diverse stories to show how students experience the transformation process, which rarely follows a neat or linear path. The interviews illustrate central themes from the literature on transformative learning and the undergraduate student experience. A sequel of sorts to George Keller’s classic Transforming a College—which chronicled Elon University’s metamorphsis from struggling college to a top regional university— Transforming Students addresses the school’s core educational mission: to shape students into engaged adults who embrace learning as a lifelong endeavor. Given this effect, the college experience is much more than preparation for a career. It is preparation for life.

Well of Being, The Cover

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Well of Being, The

Childhood, Subjectivity, and Education

In this wide-ranging work, David Kennedy undertakes a philosophically grounded analysis of the history of childhood, the history of adulthood, and their interrelationship. Using themes and perspectives from the history of childhood, mythology, psychoanalysis, art, literature, philosophy, and education, the author locates the experience of childhood across all stages of the human life cycle, and thereby weighs its transformative potential for human culture. He offers a nuanced approach to child study that raises issues about how adults see children and how children see themselves, which could lead to a qualitatively different system of teacher preparation—a system that views the child as participant rather than object in the structure of social reproduction. This sweeping review of conceptions of and approaches to childhood yields a profound vision of what schooling should be like.

Why Education Is Useless Cover

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Why Education Is Useless

By Daniel Cottom

Education is useless because it destroys our common sense, because it isolates us from the rest of humanity, because it hardens our hearts and swells our heads. Bookish persons have long been subjects of suspicion and contempt and nowhere more so, perhaps, than in the United States during the past twenty years.

Critics of education point to the Nazism of Martin Heidegger, for example, to assert the inhumanity of highly learned people; they contend that an oppressive form of identity politics has taken over the academy and complain that the art world has been overrun by culturally privileged elitists. There are always, it seems, far more reasons to disparage the ivory tower than to honor it. The uselessness of education, particularly in the humanities, is a pervasive theme in Western cultural history.

With wit and precision, Why Education Is Useless engages those who attack learning by focusing on topics such as the nature of humanity, love, beauty, and identity as well as academic scandals, identity politics, multiculturalism, and the corporatization of academe. Asserting that hostility toward education cannot be dismissed as the reaction of barbarians, fools, and nihilists, Daniel Cottom brings a fresh perspective to all these topics while still making the debates about them comprehensible to those who are not academic insiders.

A brilliant and provocative work of cultural argument and analysis, Why Education Is Useless brings in materials from literature, philosophy, art, film, and other fields and proceeds from the assumption that hostility to education is an extremely complex phenomenon, both historically and in contemporary American life. According to Cottom, we must understand the perdurable appeal of this antagonism if we are to have any chance of recognizing its manifestations—and countering them.

Ranging in reference from Montaigne to George Bush, from Sappho to Timothy McVeigh, Why Education Is Useless is a lively investigation of a notion that has persisted from antiquity through the Renaissance and into the modern era, when the debate over the relative advantages of a liberal and a useful education first arose. Facing head on the conception of utility articulated in the nineteenth century by John Stuart Mill, and directly opposing the hostile conceptions of inutility that have been popularized in recent decades by such ideologues as Allan Bloom, Harold Bloom, and John Ellis, Cottom contends that education must indeed be "useless" if it is to be worthy of its name.

Women and Power Cover

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Women and Power

Education, Religion and Identity

Education is an important tool for the development of human potential. Organizations and individuals interested in development consider knowledge, skills and attitudes, obtained through formal, non-formal and incidental learning, as invaluable assets. Therefore, it is necessary to reflect on fundamental elements that shape the process through which education is attained: How do people learn, and what are the conditions that facilitate effective learning? Answers to these questions demonstrate that no education can be politically neutral, because there is no value-free education. The traditional or indigenous education systems in Nigeria, which covered (and still cover) physical training, development of character, respect for elders and peers, development of intellectual skills, specific vocational trainings, developing a sense of belonging and participation in community affairs, and understanding, appreciating and promoting the cultural heritage of the community were, and are, not value-free. In other words, the goals and purpose of education, the content, the entire process and the procedures chosen for evaluation in education are all value-laden. This book attempts to show that the teaching-learning process in higher education, and religion, taught and learned through non-formal and informal education (or the hidden curriculum), and other socialization processes within and outside the formal school system, all interface to determine the persons that women become. This education enhances or limits womenís capabilities, whether in the civic-political sphere or in their attempts to resist violence. Hence, education and religion have ways of empowering or disempowering women.

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