A very readable book that includes dozens of excerpts from novels, biographies, memoirs, lectures, essays, plays, poetry, and songs, this anthology provides readers with a broad range of opinions, scenarios, and perspectives on education. It examines diversity beyond race, religion, and ethnicity, and addresses a wide range of topics and issues, especially controversial events, movements, and mandates. Interviews, dramatizations, and debates help subjects come alive, making the selections more meaningful. The selections are divided into six important themes: history, philosophy, politics and sociology of education, the nature of schools, and the teaching profession. Each section begins with an illustration from a Norman Rockwell painting, helping readers visualize that theme. An obvious choice for educators, this book is also an excellent read for anyone interested in the social and historical trends in education.
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Chartock is professor of education at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. She taught social studies for fifteen years at Monument Mountain Regional High School in Great Barrington, MA.
Roselle Kline Chartock is professor emerita of education at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, Massachusetts. She is co-editor of an anthology on the Nazi holocaust and author of two education texts. After forty-five years of teaching on all levels, Chartock is now an artist and writer and lives with her family in the Berkshire Hills.
This is not a traditional foundations of education text. While it does cover all of the traditional themes of the history, philosophy, politics, and sociology of education as well as the nature of school environments and the teaching profession, it does so in a different way. Through excerpts from novels, biographies, memoirs, lectures, essays, plays, and poetry, and through songs and paintings, this anthology brings traditional themes to life within meaningful contexts.
Theoretical Framework and Rationale
I really love these works and the artists and writers who have created them. Perhaps this is too personal a tribute to make in the preface of a textbook. But that is precisely the point of this text: to personalize and humanize the education courses for which this material is intended. At its very core, education is about people, that is, students, teachers, and others, who operate in a number of diverse environments. And this text is about bringing those people, processes, and environments to life for your students. Future educators will learn from many of the teachers and others described in these pages. They will identify with some; they'll disagree with others. They will likely wish they could meet a few of the more inspiring ones. But in all cases, students will be stimulated to think deeply about the ideas and actions they are reading about, and they will want to compare them with their own practices and beliefs about teaching and education.
This anthology unites liberal education with traditional teacher education by drawing from a number of liberal arts disciplines, including history, literature, and art. By using this interdisciplinary approach, students will be able to experience firsthand a valuable model that they, too, can emulate once they become teachers. As they are motivated by these resources and make emotional connections to them, they will also be learning how to integrate curriculum in new and meaningful ways. "Showing the connections between things"—as one teacher in this anthology describes her way of teaching (Freedman, 1991)—is the approach taken here.
In addition, the literature included in this text will enable students to come face to face with the fact that education is characterized by controversies of many sorts. They've been there in the past, they're facing us now; and they will be with us in the 21st century. And even though each chapter focuses on a different traditional theme, students will soon notice that many of the same controversies appear again and again throughout the book and are not always resolved. That is the nature of education, and students need to be aware of such realities within their field.
The rationale for choosing these particular selections from among so many others was based, in part, on their emotional and intellectual appeal for readers. Each selection represents an exemplary work of literature, art, or poetry and is clearly representative of the chapter theme. Foundations students need facts, yes. But they also need to be inspired. These readings provide that inspiration. Students will be able to view aspects of human behavior or thought that are universal in nature and that, in many cases, transcend cultures as well as time. Some of the excerpts will literally have the students laughing (e.g., Kaufman, 1991) and crying (Gibson, 1980). A few will arouse anger (Johnson, 1990); others, feelings of satisfaction (Taylor, 1951). And all will provide springboards to discussion and instruction by offering realistic situations around which students can solve problems, gain knowledge, and identify personally.
While the readings within a particular chapter have implications for that particular chapter's topic or theme, nearly all of the selections relate to more than one theme and could have been placed just as appropriately within the contexts of other chapters. For example, the Jose Calderon poem in chapter 3 ("Philosophical Foundations") and the excerpt from All-of-a-Kind Family in chapter 2 ("Historical Perspectives") are relevant to the multicultural theme of chapter 6 ("Living and Learning in a Diverse Society: Sociology of Education"). The Bakke decision on affirmative action (chapter 4; "The Politics of Education") certainly has implications for the minority issues discussed in chapter 6 as well as links to the history of education (chapter 2). And nearly all of the readings have connections to the first chapter, on "Teacher Behavior, Teacher Roles." So there can be some flexibility in the ways you use these selections. If one selection in a chapter seems to be better suited for illustrating another theme, there is no reason why its use can't be broadened. There are nine new readings in this second edition, and they, too, reflect more than one theme.
Organization and Pedagogical Features of the Text
The anthology is divided into six thematic chapters, each containing several selections. Each chapter begins with a comprehensive instructional narrative explaining the theme of the chapter along with useful, factual background information. Brief introductions to each selection explain to the student its particular connection to the chapter. To help students visualize the themes, a different Norman Rockwell painting appears as the first selection in each chapter. These six paintings can stimulate questions among the students as they begin their investigation of each of the major topics in the text.
Because this text is a pedagogical tool, there are a number of activities, including discussion questions and research projects, some of which involve interviewing, dramatization, and debate (see Appendix A "Debate Format"); all of them enable students to explore in more depth the concepts that compose the traditional content of a foundations course. Students may engage in some of the activities individually or with peers, in the library or in the field. Many of the questions and projects incorporate terms, concepts, and other data that students are likely to encounter in other education courses, thus allowing them to make connections to those courses and to educational theory and practice. The anthology can be used as a supplement to a traditional expository text or can satisfy the objectives of a foundations course on its own (see Appendix B, "How to Use This Text: Two Suggested Approaches").
A list of suggested Additional Readings appears at the end of each chapter, along with a list of references cited in the chapter. These sources will allow students to do more research on the people, ideas, and topics contained in the personal and literary accounts. To complete several of the activities and projects suggested after each reading, students will need to use the library as well as the Internet, newspapers, and education journals. Therefore, they should become familiar with reference facilities available in their area and on their campus.
At the end of the anthology is a Concluding Activity you may want to have the students begin working on now: their own fiction or nonfiction account of teaching based on their personal educational experiences as participants-observers in schools for at least 12 years. This exercise should remind them that they already have useful knowledge about schooling, pedagogy, and all of the themes presented herein. By recognizing that they, too, have a personal scenario to reflect upon and learn from, students will be able to make better use of the scenarios in this anthology. In fact, you may want to have students do the activity twice, once at the beginning of the course and then again at the conclusion. It is hoped that when their personal narratives are viewed together with the textual narratives, the students' educational journey will become more meaningful.
What's New in This Edition?
This second edition features several additions and some changes that strengthen it conceptually and facilitate its use by instructors.
First, the Contents now contains a brief description of each of the selections in the text so that you can determine immediately its relevance to your course aims and objectives.
The text begins with the chapter "Teacher Behavior, Teacher Roles: Teacher Ethics and Experiences" rather than with "Historical Perspectives." This change enables students to encounter contemporary scenarios with which they may more easily identify before going on to the real and fictional teachers of the past (chapter 2).
Besides updating the time line, "Influential People and Events in the History of American Education" (in chapter 2), eight selections have been added that either provide another perspective not included in the first edition or provide useful information that expands the depth and breadth of certain chapters.
In chapter 1, two selections, "Professional Standards for Teachers" (2001) and "Attention, Class!!! 16 Ways to Be a Smarter Teacher" (2001), provide students with excellent guidelines for effective teaching behavior as they begin to establish their own styles of teaching. One of the readings added to chapter 2, "Historical Perspectives," portrays the educational legacy of the Puritans—still observable in schools today—and the second, the more progressive legacy of the pioneering educator Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi. In chapter 3, "Philosophical Foundations," an excerpt from the writing of Diane Ravitch (2000), a "liberal traditionalist," and the views of a number of educators and a judge (Archibold, 2001) round out some of the perspectives addressing the central philosophical question, "What Kind of Education Is Adequate?" Two radically different views emanate from E. D. Hirsch, Jr. (1996), and Paulo Freire (1985), who, despite their political differences, agree that education can transform society. Their work expands the depth and breadth of chapter 4 ("The Politics of Education"). Chapter 6 ("Living and Learning in a Diverse Society") now includes an excerpt from a work of children's literature (Little, 2000) that takes the chapter's definition of diversity beyond that related to race, ethnicity, and religion to include children with learning and physical disabilities.
Additions to the appendixes include one for the instructor of the course and one for the students. For the instructor's benefit, two approaches for using this text are suggested; one describes how the book can serve as the primary vehicle of instruction, and the other suggests how the text can be used as a supplementary source. Because so many of the activities in the text involve the students in preparing presentations with and for their peers, an outline of a lesson plan along with a sample plan is included for their use. The appendixes still provide the "Debate Format: Learning through Teamwork and Formal Argument" so that students can address the many controversial issues raised in the text.
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