Lit Up

A bestselling author and distinguished critic goes back to high school to find out whether books can shape lives

It’s no secret that millions of American teenagers, caught up in social media, television, movies, and games, don’t read seriously-they associate sustained reading with duty or work, not with pleasure. This indifference has become a grievous loss to our standing as a great nation–and a personal loss, too, for millions of teenagers who may turn into adults with limited understanding of themselves and the world.

Can teenagers be turned on to serious reading? What kind of teachers can do it, and what books? To find out, Denby sat in on a tenth-grade English class in a demanding New York public school for an entire academic year, and made frequent visits to a troubled inner-city public school in New Haven and to a respected public school in Westchester county. He read all the stories, poems, plays, and novels that the kids were reading, and creates an impassioned portrait of charismatic teachers at work, classroom dramas large and small, and fresh and inspiring encounters with the books themselves, including The Scarlet Letter, Brave New World, 1984, Slaughterhouse-Five, Notes From Underground, Long Way Gone and many more. Lit Up is a dramatic narrative that traces awkward and baffled beginnings but also exciting breakthroughs and the emergence of pleasure in reading. In a sea of bad news about education and the fate of the book, Denby reaffirms the power of great teachers and the importance and inspiration of great books.


Classroom Interaction and Social Learning

Today’s classroom presents a wealth of opportunities for social interaction amongst pupils, leading to increased interest in teachers and researchers into the social nature of learning.
While classroom interaction can be a valuable tool for learning, it does not necessarily lead to useful learning experiences. Through case studies, this book highlights the use of new analytical methodologies for studying the content and patterns of children’s interactions and how these contribute to their construction of knowledge.
Classroom Interaction and Social Learning will be of interest to students and in service teachers and researchers concerned with classroom discourse and learning.


International Research Handbook on Values Education and Student Wellbeing

Informed by the most up-to-date research from around the world, as well as examples of good practice, this handbook analyzes values education in the context of a range of school-based measures associated with student wellbeing. These include social, emotional, moral and spiritual growth – elements that seem to be present where intellectual advancement and academic achievement are being maximized. This text comes as ‘values education’ widens in scope from being concerned with morality, ethics, civics and citizenship to a broader definition synonymous with a holistic approach to education in general. This expanded purview is frequently described as pedagogy relating to ‘values’ and ‘wellbeing’.

This contemporary understanding of values education, or values and wellbeing pedagogy, fits well with recent neuroscience research. This has shown that notions of cognition, or intellect, are far more intertwined with social and emotional growth than earlier educational paradigms have allowed for. In other words, the best laid plans about the technical aspects of pedagogy are bound to fail unless the growth of the whole person – social, emotional, moral, spiritual and intellectual, is the pedagogical target. Teachers and educationalists will find that this handbook provides evidence, culled from both research and practice, of the beneficial effects of such a ‘values and wellbeing’ pedagogy.


Performance Theories in Education

Performance Theories in Education: Power, Pedagogy, and the Politics of Identity breaks new ground by presenting a range of approaches to understanding the role, function, impact, and presence of performance in education. It is a definitive contribution to a beginning dialogue on how performance, as a theoretical and pragmatic lens, can be used to view the processes, procedures, and politics of education. The conceptual framework of the volume is the editors’ argument that performance and performativity help to locate and describe repetitive actions plotted within grids of power relationships and social norms that comprise the context of education and schooling.

The book brings together performance studies and education researchers, teachers, and scholars to investigate such topics as:
*the relationship between performance and performativity in pedagogical practice; *the nature and impact of performing identities in varying contexts;
*cultural and community configurations that fall under the umbrella of teaching, education, and schooling; and
*the hot button issues of educational policies and reform as performances.

With the aim of developing a clearer understanding of the effect, affect, and role of performance in education, the volume provides a crucial starting point for discourse among theorists and teacher practitioners who are interested in understanding and acknowledging the politics of performance and the practices of performative social identities that always and already intervene in the educational endeavor.


The Price We Pay

While the high cost of education draws headlines, the cost of not educating America’s children goes largely ignored. The Price We Pay remedies this oversight by highlighting the private and public costs of inadequate education. In this volume, leading scholars from a broad range of fields —including economics, education, demography, and public health —attach hard numbers to the relationship between educational attainment and such critical indicators as income, health, crime, dependence on public assistance, and political participation. They explore policy interventions that could boost the education system’s performance and explain why demographic trends make the challenge of educating our youth so urgent today. Improving educational outcomes for at-risk youth is more than a noble goal. It is an investment with the potential to yield benefits that far outstrip its costs. The Price We Pay provides the tools readers need to analyze both sides of the balance sheet and make informed decisions about which policies will pay off. Contributors include Thomas Bailey (Teachers College, Columbia University), Ronald F. Ferguson (Harvard University), Irwin Garfinkel (Columbia University), Jane Junn (Rutgers University), Brendan Kelly (Columbia University), Enrico Moretti (UCLA), Peter Muennig (Columbia University), Michael Rebell (Teachers College, Columbia University), Richard Rothstein (Teachers College, Columbia University), Cecilia E. Rouse (Princeton University), Marta Tienda (Princeton University), Jane Waldfogel (Columbia University), and Tamara Wilder (Teachers College, Columbia University).


Anarchism and Education

Arguing that the central role of educational practice in anarchist theory and activism has been overlooked by many theorists, this examination of contemporary educational philosophy counters the assertion that anarchism reflects a naïve or overly optimistic view of human nature. By articulating the philosophical underpinnings of anarchist thought on issues of human nature, freedom, authority, and social change, the case is made that the anarchist tradition can be a rich source of insights into perennial philosophical questions about education. This theoretical exploration is then bolstered with a historical account of anarchist education, focusing on key defining features of anarchist schools, their ideological underpinnings, and their pedagogical approaches. Finally, a clear explanation of how anarchist education is distinct from libertarian, progressive, Marxist, and liberal models defines the role of anarchist education in furthering and sustaining a just and equal society.


Catholic Schools

In this ground-breaking book, Gerald Grace addresses the dilemmas facing Catholic education in an increasingly secular and consumer-driven culture. The book combines an original theoretical framework with research drawn from interviews with sixty Catholic secondary head teachers from deprived urban areas. Issues discussed include:

*Catholic meanings of academic success
*tensions between market values and Catholic values
*threats to the mission integrity of Catholic schools
*the spiritual, moral and social justice commitments of contemporary Catholic schools

This book will be equally useful to leaders of Catholic and other schools and to all those interested in values and leadership in schooling.


Pedagogies of the Imagination

I have long admired the mythopoetic tradition in curriculum studies. That admiration followed from my experience as a high-school teacher of English in a wealthy suburb of New York City at the end of the 1960s. A “dream” job—I taught four classes of 15–20 students during a nine-period day—in a “dream” suburb (where I could afford to reside only by taking a room in a retired teacher’s house), many of these often Ivy-League-bound students had everything but meaningful lives. This middle-class, Midwestern young teacher was flabbergasted. In one sense, my academic life has been devoted to understanding that searing experience. Matters of meaning seemed paramount in the curriculum field to which Paul Klohr introduced me at Ohio State. Klohr assigned me the work of curriculum theorists such as James B. Macdonald. Like Timothy Leonard (who also studied with Klohr at Ohio State) and Peter Willis, Macdonald (1995) understood that school reform was part of a broader cultural and political crisis in which meaning is but one casualty. In the mythopoetic tradition in curriculum studies, scholars labor to understand this crisis and the conditions for the reconstruction of me- ing in our time, in our schools.


The Underachieving School

The Underachieving School is a collection of essays and articles written and compiled by Holt, each brimming with inspiration and ideas on how to teach children—taking into account the ways in which children actually learn. Through his original thinking, clear and thoughtful writing, and firsthand accounts of what does and doesn’t work in education, this book shows us the difference between learning and schooling.


A Theory of Catholic Education

Presenting a robust and philosophically based account of education from the Catholic point of view, Sean Whittle engages with important debates and questions concerning the nature and purpose of Catholic education and schooling. The book opens with a review of the criticisms that have emerged about the prevalence of Catholic schools within the state system and, indeed, about the very notion of there being such a thing as ‘Catholic education’. The author then goes on to survey official Church teaching on education and the work of key Catholic thinkers, Newman and Maritain, before moving on to discuss the writings of Karl Rahner, a leading twentieth century theologian. A Theory of Catholic Education argues that Rahner’s approach, with his focus on the place of mystery in human experience, provides a way forward. Ultimately, Whittle demonstrates how Catholic theology can offer a unique and much needed theory of education.