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American Conversations

Growing numbers of working-class Puerto Ricans are migrating from larger mainland metropolitan areas into smaller, "safer" communities in search of a better quality of life for themselves and their families. What they may also encounter in moving to such communities is a discourse of exclusion that associates their differences and their lower socioeconomic class with a lack of effort and an unwillingness to assimilate into mainstream culture. In this ethnographic study of a community in conflict, educator and anthropologist Ellen Bigler examines such discourses as she explores one city's heated dispute that arose over bringing multiculturalism and bilingual education into their lives and their schools' curricula.

The impassioned debate that erupted between long-time white ethnic residents and more recently arrived Puerto Rican citizens in the de-industrialized city the author calls "Arnhem" was initially sparked by one school board member's disparaging comments about Latinos. The conflict led to an investigation by the attempts to implement multicultural reforms in the city's schools. American Conversations follows the ensuing conflict, looks at the history of racial formation in the United States, and considers the specific economic and labor histories of the groups comprising the community in opposition. Including interviews with students, teachers, parents, and community leaders, as well as her own observations of exchanges among them inside and outside the classroom, Bigler's book explores the social positions, diverging constructions of history, and polarized understandings of contemporary racial/ethnic dynamics in Arnhem. Through her retelling of one community's crisis, Bigler illuminates the nature of racial politics in the United States and how both sides in the debate over multicultural education struggle to find a common language.

American Conversations will appeal to anyone invested in education and multiculturalism in the United States as well as those interested in anthropology, sociology, racial and ethnic studies, educational institutions, migration and settlement, the effects of industrial restructuring, and broad issues of community formation and conflict.

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An American Experience in Indonesia

The University of Kentucky Affiliation with the Agricultural University at Bogor

Howard W. Beers

This book tells the story of an important experiment in international cooperation and inter-university collaboration in educational development. A team of educational and agricultural specialists from the University of Kentucky (called Kenteam in the book) lived and worked in

Bogor, Indonesia, from 1957 through 1965. Their purpose -- to work with the Agricultural University in Bogor to develop a complete college of agriculture to the level of capability for self-regeneration and growth.

Working against a background of political and economic turmoil, Kenteam succeeded in helping the Indonesians build an institution capable of achieving its goals once the restraints of a struggling economy could be removed. This heartening story is replete with sociological insight but free of sociological jargon.

Written in a reportorial and evaluative style, the book interweaves ideas of organizational development with close- ups of the interagency and human problems involved, telling an absorbing story of international cooperation in technical assistance. It will be read with interest by Asian specialists and the many people concerned with social change and economic and educational development.

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The American Faculty

The Restructuring of Academic Work and Careers

Jack H. Schuster and Martin J. Finkelstein

Higher education is becoming destabilized in the face of extraordinarily rapid change. The composition of the academy's most valuable asset—the faculty—and the essential nature of faculty work are being transformed. Jack H. Schuster and Martin J. Finkelstein describe the transformation of the American faculty in the most extensive and ambitious analysis of the American academic profession undertaken in a generation. A century ago the American research university emerged as a new organizational form animated by the professionalized, discipline-based scholar. The research university model persisted through two world wars and greatly varying economic conditions. In recent years, however, a new order has surfaced, organized around a globalized, knowledge-based economy, powerful privatization and market forces, and stunning new information technologies. These developments have transformed the higher education enterprise in ways barely imaginable in generations past. At the heart of that transformation, but largely invisible, has been a restructuring of academic appointments, academic work, and academic careers—a reconfiguring widely decried but heretofore inadequately described. This volume depicts the scope and depth of the transformation, combing empirical data drawn from three decades of national higher education surveys. The authors' portrait, at once startling and disturbing, provides the context for interpreting these developments as part of a larger structural evolution of the national higher education system. They outline the stakes for the nation and the challenging work to be done.

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American Higher Education Transformed, 1940–2005

Documenting the National Discourse

edited by Wilson Smith and Thomas Bender

This long-awaited sequel to Richard Hofstadter and Wilson Smith's classic anthology American Higher Education: A Documentary History presents one hundred and seventy-two key edited documents that record the transformation of higher education over the past sixty years. The volume includes such seminal documents as Vannevar Bush's 1945 report to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Science, the Endless Frontier; the U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Brown v. Board of Education and Sweezy v. New Hampshire; and Adrienne Rich's challenging essay "Taking Women Students Seriously." The wide variety of readings underscores responses of higher education to a memorable, often tumultuous, half century. Colleges and universities faced a transformation of their educational goals, institutional structures and curricula, and admission policies; the ethnic and economic composition of student bodies; an expanding social and gender membership in the professoriate; their growing allegiance to and dependence on federal and foundation financial aids; and even the definitions and defenses of academic freedom. Wilson Smith and Thomas Bender have assembled an essential reference for policymakers, administrators, and all those interested in the history and sociology of higher education.

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American Idyll

Academic Antielitism as Cultural Critique

Catherine Liu

trenchant critique of failure and opportunism across the political spectrum, American Idyll argues that social mobility, once a revered hallmark of American society, has ebbed, as higher education has become a mechanistic process for efficient sorting that has more to do with class formation than anything else. Academic freedom and aesthetic education are reserved for high-scoring, privileged students and vocational education is the only option for economically marginal ones.

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American Indian Educators in Reservation Schools

The role of Native American teachers and administrators working in reservation schools has received little attention from scholars. Utilizing numerous interviews and extensive fieldwork, Terry Huffman shows how they define their roles and judge their achievements. He examines the ways they address the complex issues of cultural identity that affect their students and themselves and how they cope with the pressures of teaching disadvantaged students while meeting the requirements for reservation schools.

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The American School Counselor

A Case Study in the Sociology of Professions

A comprehensive case study of secondary school counseling as a developing profession. The author examines the growth of counseling, the characteristics of the contemporary counselor, the use of standardized tests, the changing orientation of the counselor from “educational advisor” to “therapist,” the influences of the institutional setting on counseling, and the impact of counseling on students and society.

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American Sign Language and Early Literacy

A Model Parent-Child Program

Kristin Snoddon

The usual definition of the term “literacy”generally corresponds with mastering the reading and writing of a spoken language. This narrow scope often engenders unsubstantiated claims that print literacy alone leads to, among other so-called higher-order thinking skills, logical and rational thinking and the abstract use of language. Thus, the importance of literacy for deaf children in American Sign Language (ASL) is marginalized, asserts author Kristin Snoddon in her new book American Sign Language and Early Literacy: A Model Parent-Child Program. As a contrast, Snoddon describes conducting an ethnographic, action study of the ASL Parent-Child Mother Goose program, provided by a Deaf service agency in Ontario, Canada to teach ASL literacy to deaf children. According to current scholarship, literacy is achieved through primary discourse shared with parents and other intimates, which establishes a child’s initial sense of identity, culture, and vernacular language. Secondary discourse derives from outside agents and interaction, such as expanding an individual’s literacy to other languages. Snoddon writes that the focus of the ASL Parent-Child Mother Goose program is on teaching ASL through rhymes and stories and some facets of the culture of Deaf ASL users. This focus enabled hearing parents to impart first-language acquisition and socialization to their deaf children in a more natural primary discourse as if the parents were Deaf themselves. At the same time, hearing parents experienced secondary discourses through their exposure to ASL and Deaf culture. Snoddon also comments on current infant hearing screening and early intervention and the gaps in these services. She discusses gatekeeper individuals and institutions that restrict access to ASL for young Deaf children and their families. Finally, she reports on public resources for supporting ASL literacy and the implications of her findings regarding the benefits of early ASL literacy programming for Deaf children and their families.

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American Universities and the Birth of Modern Mormonism, 1867–1940 

Thomas W. Simpson

In the closing decades of the nineteenth century, college-age Latter-day Saints began undertaking a remarkable intellectual pilgrimage to the nation's elite universities, including Harvard, Columbia, Michigan, Chicago, and Stanford. Thomas W. Simpson chronicles the academic migration of hundreds of LDS students from the 1860s through the late 1930s, when church authority J. Reuben Clark Jr., himself a product of the Columbia University Law School, gave a reactionary speech about young Mormons' search for intellectual cultivation. Clark's leadership helped to set conservative parameters that in large part came to characterize Mormon intellectual life.

At the outset, Mormon women and men were purposefully dispatched to such universities to "gather the world's knowledge to Zion." Simpson, drawing on unpublished diaries, among other materials, shows how LDS students commonly described American universities as egalitarian spaces that fostered a personally transformative sense of freedom to explore provisional reconciliations of Mormon and American identities and religious and scientific perspectives. On campus, Simpson argues, Mormon separatism died and a new, modern Mormonism was born: a Mormonism at home in the United States but at odds with itself. Fierce battles among Mormon scholars and church leaders ensued over scientific thought, progressivism, and the historicity of Mormonism's sacred past. The scars and controversy, Simpson concludes, linger.

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The American University of Beirut

Arab Nationalism and Liberal Education

By Betty S. Anderson

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