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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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African Researchers and Decision-makers. Building Synergy for Development

Building Synergy for Development

For the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and its partners, the link between research and policy is of paramount importance in their goal to improve social, economic and environmental conditions in developing countries. The nature of the collaboration between researchers and decision-makers, however, is complex, multifaceted and often difficult to implement. Moreover, research is very often designed and carried out without regard for its potential users or beneficiaries. How should research agendas be developed? What is the role of the private sector in developing research? Which actors are involved in knowledge production and utilization? How can the dialogue between researchers and decision-makers be improved? This short and accessible book records the reflections, opinions and recommendations which emerged from six national workshops organised between 2004 and 2007 in West and Central Africa on the synergy between researchers and decision-makers. Abdoulaye Ndiaye is a Senegalese expert and international consultant in development. He edited this book as a member and on behalf of the IDRC Council of Regional Advisors for West and Central Africa which organized the series of workshops throughout the sub-region.

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After Admission

From College Access to College Success

Enrollment at America’s community colleges has exploded in recent years, with five times as many entering students today as in 1965. However, most community college students do not graduate; many earn no credits and may leave school with no more advantages in the labor market than if they had never attended. Experts disagree over the reason for community colleges’ mixed record. Is it that the students in these schools are under-prepared and ill-equipped for the academic rigors of college? Are the colleges themselves not adapting to keep up with the needs of the new kinds of students they are enrolling? In After Admission, James Rosenbaum, Regina Deil-Amen, and Ann Person weigh in on this debate with a close look at this important trend in American higher education. After Admission compares community colleges with private occupational colleges that offer accredited associates degrees. The authors examine how these different types of institutions reach out to students, teach them social and cultural skills valued in the labor market, and encourage them to complete a degree. Rosenbaum, Deil-Amen, and Person find that community colleges are suffering from a kind of identity crisis as they face the inherent complexities of guiding their students towards four-year colleges or to providing them with vocational skills to support a move directly into the labor market. This confusion creates administrative difficulties and problems allocating resources. However, these contradictions do not have to pose problems for students. After Admission shows that when colleges present students with clear pathways, students can effectively navigate the system in a way that fits their needs. The occupational colleges the authors studied employed close monitoring of student progress, regular meetings with advisors and peer cohorts, and structured plans for helping students meet career goals in a timely fashion. These procedures helped keep students on track and, the authors suggest, could have the same effect if implemented at community colleges. As college access grows in America, institutions must adapt to meet the needs of a new generation of students. After Admission highlights organizational innovations that can help guide students more effectively through higher education.

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After Brown

The Rise and Retreat of School Desegregation

Charles T. Clotfelter

The United States Supreme Court's 1954 landmark decision, Brown v. Board of Education, set into motion a process of desegregation that would eventually transform American public schools. This book provides a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of how Brown's most visible effect--contact between students of different racial groups--has changed over the fifty years since the decision.

Using both published and unpublished data on school enrollments from across the country, Charles Clotfelter uses measures of interracial contact, racial isolation, and segregation to chronicle the changes. He goes beyond previous studies by drawing on heretofore unanalyzed enrollment data covering the first decade after Brown, calculating segregation for metropolitan areas rather than just school districts, accounting for private schools, presenting recent information on segregation within schools, and measuring segregation in college enrollment.

Two main conclusions emerge. First, interracial contact in American schools and colleges increased markedly over the period, with the most dramatic changes occurring in the previously segregated South. Second, despite this change, four main factors prevented even larger increases: white reluctance to accept racially mixed schools, the multiplicity of options for avoiding such schools, the willingness of local officials to accommodate the wishes of reluctant whites, and the eventual loss of will on the part of those who had been the strongest protagonists in the push for desegregation. Thus decreases in segregation within districts were partially offset by growing disparities between districts and by selected increases in private school enrollment.

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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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After Montaigne

Contemporary Essayists Cover the Essays

Edited by David Lazar and Patrick Madden

Writers of the modern essay can trace their chosen genre all the way back to Michel de Montaigne (1533–92). But save for the recent notable best seller How to Live: A Life of Montaigne by Sarah Bakewell, Montaigne is largely ignored. After Montaigne—a collection of twenty-four new personal essays intended as tribute— aims to correct this collective lapse of memory and introduce modern readers and writers to their stylistic forebear.Though it’s been over four hundred years since he began writing his essays, Montaigne’s writing is still fresh, and his use of the form as a means of self-exploration in the world around him reads as innovative—even by modern standards. He is, simply put, the writer to whom all essayists are indebted. Each contributor has chosen one of Montaigne’s 107 essays and has written his/her own essay of the same title and on the same theme, using a quote from Montaigne’s essay as an epigraph. The overall effect is akin to a covers album, with each writer offering his or her own interpretation and stylistic verve to Montaigne’s themes in ways that both reinforce and challenge the French writer’s prose, ideas, and forms. Featuring a who’s who of contemporary essayists, After Montaigne offers a startling engagement with Montaigne and the essay form while also pointing the way to the genre’s potential new directions.Contributors: Marcia Aldrich, Chris Arthur, Robert Atwan, Barrie Jean Borich, Mary Cappello, Steven Church, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Danielle Cadena Deulen, Brian Doyle, Lina M. Ferreira C. V., Vivian Gornick, Robin Hemley, Wayne Koestenbaum, Shannon Lakanen, David Lazar, E. J. Levy, Phillip Lopate, Bret Lott, Patrick Madden, Desirae Matherly, Maggie Nelson, José Orduña, Elena Passarello, Lia Purpura, Kristen Radtke, Amy Lee Scott, Jerald Walker, Nicole Walker

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After the Public Turn

Composition, Counterpublics, and the Citizen Bricoleur

Frank Farmer

 In After the Public Turn, author Frank Farmer argues that counterpublics and the people who make counterpublics—“citizen bricoleurs”—deserve a more prominent role in our scholarship and in our classrooms. Encouraging students to understand and consider resistant or oppositional discourse is a viable route toward mature participation as citizens in a democracy. 


Farmer examines two very different kinds of publics, cultural and disciplinary, and discusses two counterpublics within those broad categories: zine discourses and certain academic discourses. By juxtaposing these two significantly different kinds of publics, Farmer suggests that each discursive world can be seen, in its own distinct way, as a counterpublic, an oppositional social formation that has a stake in widening or altering public life as we know it.

Drawing on major figures in rhetoric and cultural theory, Farmer builds his argument about composition teaching and its relation to the public sphere, leading to a more sophisticated understanding of public life and a deeper sense of what democratic citizenship means for our time.

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Afterschool

Images, Education and Research

Nancy Vansieleghem, Joris Vlieghe, Pieter Verstraete (eds)

Tangible tension of omnipresent images in education. The intricate relation between images and education is an old issue that can easily be dated back to the rise of Modernity. Ever since, it has been argued on the one hand that images might assist teachers in educating the new generation, but on the other might detract students’ attention by offering them mere entertainment instead of seriously pursuing essential subject material. Today, with the omnipresence of screens in our daily life, this tension has become all the more tangible. Some may even start to wonder whether education, traditionally conceived as schooling, is still achievable under these conditions. The title Afterschool refers to a film by Antonio Campos, which depicted these new conditions very accurately. In the same way the book articulates in an affirmative manner the role of education in an ‘Afterschool’ era, and also what images could signify in such an era, both for educators and educational researchers. All essays included in this book, in one way or another, respond to this process of digitization. At the same time, they present new and unexpected ways of making use of images in educational practice and research. Contributors Sönke Ahrens (independent researcher), Marc De Blieck (LUCA School of Arts, Ghent), Pieter-Jan Decoster (Ghent University), Florelle D’Hoest (Universidad Complutense de Madrid), Jan Dietvorst (visual artist), Jan Masschelein (KU Leuven), Nancy Vansieleghem (LUCA School of Arts, Ghent), Maarten Vanvolsem (LUCA School of Arts, Brussels), Pieter Verstraete (KU Leuven), Roy Villevoye (visual artist) & Joris Vlieghe (Liverpool Hope University)

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Agents of Integration

Understanding Transfer as a Rhetorical Act

Rebecca S. Nowacek

The question of how students transfer knowledge is an important one, as it addresses the larger issue of the educational experience. In Agents of Integration: Understanding Transfer as a Rhetorical Act, Rebecca S. Nowacek explores, through a series of case studies, the issue of transfer by asking what in an educational setting engages students to become “agents of integration”— individuals actively working to perceive, as well as to convey effectively to others, the connections they make. 

While many studies of transfer are longitudinal, with data collected over several years, Nowacek’s is synchronous, a rich cross-section of the writing and classroom discussions produced by a team-taught learning community—three professors and eighteen students enrolled in a one-semester general education interdisciplinary humanities seminar that consisted of three linked courses in history, literature, and religious studies. With extensive field notes, carefully selected student and teacher self-reports in the form of interviews and focus groups, and thorough examinations of recorded classroom discussions, student papers with professor comments, and student notebooks, Nowacek presents a nuanced and engaging analysis that outlines how transfer is not simply a cognitive act but a rhetorical one that involves both seeing connections and presenting them to the instructors who are institutionally positioned to recognize and value them. 

Considering the challenges facing instructors teaching for transfer and the transfer of writing-related knowledge, Nowacek develops and outlines a new theoretical framework and methodological model of transfer and illustrates the practical implications through case studies and other classroom examples. She proposes transfer is best understood as an act of recontextualization, and she builds on this premise throughout the book by drawing from previous work in cognitive psychology, activity theory, and rhetorical genre theory, as well as her own analyses of student work. 

This focused examination complements existing longitudinal studies and will help readers better understand not only the opportunities and challenges confronting students as they work to become agents of integration but also the challenges facing instructors as they seek to support that student work.

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Aiding Students, Buying Students

Financial Aid in America

Rupert Wilkinson

From the first scholarship donated to Harvard in 1643 to today’s world of “enrollment management” and federal grants and loans, the author gives a lively social and economic history of the conflicting purposes of student aid and makes proposals for the future. His research for this book is based on archives and interviews at 131 public and private institutions across the United States. In the words of Joe Paul Case, Dean and Director of Financial Aid, Amherst College, “Wilkinson has mined the archives of dozens of institutions to create a mosaic that details the progress of student assistance from the 17th century to the present. He gives particular attention to the origins of need-based assistance, from the charitable benevolence of early colleges to the regulation-laden policies of the federal government. He gives due consideration to institutional motive—he challenges the egalitarian platitudes of affluent colleges and questions the countervailing market and economic forces that may imperil need-based aid at less competitive institutions. By drawing on scores of personal interviews and exchanges of correspondence with aid practitioners, Wilkinson fleshes out recent decades, helping the reader to understand new trends in the provision of aid.”

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