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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.

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International Handbook of Jewish Education

The International Handbook of Jewish Education, a two volume publication, brings together scholars and practitioners engaged in the field of Jewish Education and its cognate fields world-wide. Their submissions make a significant contribution to our knowledge of the field of Jewish Education as we start the second decade of the 21st century.

The Handbook is divided broadly into four main sections:

  1. Vision and Practice: focusing on issues of philosophy, identity and planning –the big issues of Jewish Education.
  2. Teaching and Learning: focusing on areas of curriculum and engagement
  3. Applications, focusing on the ways that Jewish Education is transmitted in particular contexts, both formal and informal, for children and adults.
  4. Geographical, focusing on historical, demographic, social and other issues that are specific to a region or where an issue or range of issues can be compared and contrasted between two or more locations.

This comprehensive collection of articles providing high quality content, constitutes a difinitive statement on the state of Jewish Education world wide, as well as through a wide variety of lenses and contexts. It is written in a style that is accessible to a global community of academics and professionals.

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Values Education and Quality Teaching

Some revision of public schooling history is necessary to challenge the dominant mythology that public schools were established on the grounds of values-neutrality. In fact, those responsible for the foundations of public education in Australia were sufficiently pragmatic to know that its success relied on its charter being in accord with public sentiment. Part of the pragmatism was in convincing those whose main experience of education had been through some form of church-based education that state-based education was capable of meeting the same ends. Hence, the documents of the 1870s and 1880s that contained the charters of the various state and territory systems witness to a breadth of vision about the scope of education. Beyond the standard goals of literacy and numeracy, education was said to be capable of assuring personal morality for each individual and a suitable citizenry for the soon-to-be new nation. As an instance, the NSW Public Instr- tion Act of 1880 (cf. NSW, 1912), under the rubric of “religious teaching”, stressed the need for students to be inculcated into the values of their society, including understanding the role that religious values had played in forming that society’s legal codes and social ethics. The notion, therefore, that public education is part of a deep and ancient heritage around values neutrality is mistaken and in need of se- ous revision. The evidence suggests that public education’s initial conception was of being the complete educator, not only of young people’s minds but of their inner character as well.

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International Handbook of the Religious, Moral and Spiritual Dimensions in Education

In today’s complex and plural world, there has been, particularly in western cultures, an identifiable change in peoples’ relationships with religious traditions. Some of these changes have also permeated non-western cultural traditions as they have been exposed to and influenced by television and other media that is dominated by western life styles and contexts. A corresponding movement is a vital resurgence of interest in human spirituality. Traditionally, spirituality has resided and been contained within religious frameworks but while the links between the two areas are still acknowledged by many in the contemporary world, spirituality is perceived by some as an aspect of human life that is distinct from religion. Consequently, many are searching for meaning within and without religious traditions today and seeking answers to ethical and moral questions that have been generated by the knowledge and technological explosion. One outcome is the renewed interest in the religious, spiritual and moral dimensions of education throughout the life cycle.

This International Handbook presents the research and professional practice of scholars who are daily engaged in the consideration of these dimensions in education. The result is a collection of essays which reflects the discipline, in all of its internationality, as it as today. Embedded within the chapters is also an agenda for the future, where the religious, moral and spiritual dimensions in education are proposed as an exciting and challenging way forward for educators at all levels in society. As well, it offers a vision for the emergence of a peaceful and just world.

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Critical Thinking and Learning

The editors of this book employ social, cognitive, linguistic, and political theoretical innovations to develop a new conception of critical thinking. They examine how such a construct might be taught in a variety of social settings and disciplines. Using a host of previously neglected perspectives—sociocognition, issues of political economy, complexity theory, and critical theoretical notions of epistemology and power theory—the editors and authors present a conceptually sophisticated yet accessible compendium on critical thinking.

The introduction guides readers through the reconceptualization process. Specific entries focus on particular dimensions of the challenges to old-style critical thinking. In this context, readers can choose entries that discuss various means of engaging students in the critical complex perspective of critical thinking. The encyclopedia is aware of both theoretical concerns and the everyday realities of schooling in the 21st century. As such, it rounded in a respectful view of teachers that assumes they are capable of levels of expertise unacknowledged by many contemporary articulations of school reform. The educational, cognitive, and professional vision developed in the encyclopedia offers a profound alternative to the top-down impositional models now sweeping the nation’s school districts.

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Encyclopedia of Educational Psychology

The field of educational psychology draws from a variety of diverse disciplines including human development across the life span, measurement and statistics, learning and motivation, and teaching. And within these different disciplines, many other fields are featured including psychology, anthropology, education, sociology, public health, school psychology, counseling, history, and philosophy. In fact, when taught at the college or university level, educational psychology is an ambitious course that undertakes the presentation of many different topics all tied together by the theme of how the individual can best function in an “educational” setting, loosely defined as anything from pre-school through adult education. Educational psychology can be defined as the application of what we know about learning and motivation, development, and measurement and statistics to educational settings (both school- and community-based).

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The Teacher’s Role in Implementing Cooperative Learning in the Classroom

Cooperative learning is widely endorsed as a pedagogical practice that promotes student learning. Recently, the research focus has moved to the role of teachers’ discourse during cooperative learning and its effects on the quality of group discussions and the learning achieved. However, although the benefits of cooperative learning are well documented, implementing this pedagogical practice in classrooms is a challenge that many teachers have difficulties accomplishing.

Difficulties may occur because teachers often do not have a clear understanding of the basic tenets of cooperative learning and the research and theoretical perspectives that have informed this practice and how they translate into practical applications that can be used in their classrooms. In effect, what do teachers need to do to affect the benefits widely documented in research?

A reluctance to embrace cooperative learning may also be due to the challenge it poses to teachers’ control of the learning process, the demands it places on classroom organisational changes, and the personal commitments teachers need to make to sustain their efforts. Moreover, a lack of understanding of the key role teachers need to play in embedding cooperative learning into the curricula to foster open communication and engagement among teachers and students, promote cooperative investigation and problem-solving, and provide students with emotionally and intellectually stimulating learning environments may be another contributing factor.

The Teacher’s Role in Implementing Cooperative Learning in the Classroom provides readers with a comprehensive overview of these issues with clear guidelines on how teachers can embed cooperative learning into their classroom curricula to obtain the benefits widely attributed to this pedagogical practice. It does so by using language that is appropriate for both novice and experienced educators. The volume provides: an overview of the major research and theoretical perspectives that underpin the development of cooperative learning pedagogy; outlines how specific small group experiences can promote thinking and learning; discusses the key role teachers play in promoting student discourse; and, demonstrates how interaction style among students and teachers is crucial in facilitating discussion and learning. The collection of chapters includes many practical illustrations, drawn from the contributors’ own research of how teachers can use cooperative learning pedagogy to facilitate thinking and learning among students across different educational settings.

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Workplace Learning in Teacher Education

This book explores teacher workplace learning from four different perspectives: social policy, international comparators, multi-professional stances/perspectives and socio-cultural theory. First, it considers the policy and practice context of professional learning in teacher education in England, and the rest of the UK, with particular reference to professional masters level provision. The importance of teachers’ and schools’ perceptions of improvement, development and learning, and the inherent tensions between individual, school and government priorities is explored. Second, the book considers models of teacher workplace learning to be found in international research and practice to explore what perspective they can bring to understanding policy and practice relating to workplace learning in the UK. Third, it draws on cross-professional analysis to get an intellectual and theoretical purchase on workplace learning by examining how insights from across the professions can provide us with useful perspectives on policy and practice. The analysis draws particularly on insights from medicine and educational psychology. Fourth, the book cross-fertilises research and practice across the field of education by drawing on insights from perspectives such as socio-cultural and activity theory and situated learning/cognition to discover what they can offer in analysing the theoretical and pedagogic underpinnings of teacher workplace learning. In short, the book offers a number of contexts for exploring how best to conceptualise and theorise learning in the workplace in order to generate evidence to inform policy and practice and facilitates the development of a more theoretically informed and robust model of workplace learning and teaching.

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Primary School Teaching and Educational Psychology

Drawing upon extensive research, David Galloway and Anne Edwards analyse the increasing pressures on teachers from the national curriculum and other recent legislation. They look carefully at childrens’ learning and behavioural difficulties and show how educational psychology can extend our understanding of teacher’s day-to-date work in the classroom. Primary Teaching and Educational Psychology is a refreshing and at times controversial examination of primary teaching and the application of educational psychology. It will be essential reading for trainee teachers and will stimulate more experienced teachers to re-evaluate their current practices.

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Guides to Collection Development for Children and Young Adults

Designed to assist librarians with collection development, this work identifies, describes, and evaluates more than 800 significant bibliographies of children’s and young adult materials. Emphasis is on print and nonprint works published from 1986 through 1996, with some earlier but still useful publications. Special attention is given to such electronic media as CD-ROMs and the Internet. The book is arranged by broad subjects with essential and highly recommended titles noted. Annotations indicate scope of a work, purpose, contents, suitability, special features, and general usefulness. A separate section indicates sources that are particularly useful in building professional collections for parents and educators. Author, title, and subject indexes help users locate specific information. This work updates Guides to Library Collection Development by the same authors (Libraries Unlimited, 1994). Its deep and comprehensive coverage makes it invaluable to school and public libraries.