Charting a Professional Course: Issues and Controversies in Education

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9780131133716: Charting a Professional Course: Issues and Controversies in Education

A supplementary reader for Introduction to Foundations of Education, Introduction to Teaching, or Issues in Education courses. Designed to provide the knowledge and understanding teachers need in order to make informed decisions, this comprehensive selection of readings addresses numerous challenging issues facing education today: vouchers, charter schools, accountability, high-stakes testing, bilingual instruction, technology, and others. The readings were chosen to support today's emphasis on professionalism in teaching, and so meet three essential criteria: 1) They address central issues; 2) they are accessible to prospective, novice, and veteran teachers alike; and, 3) they offer multiple perspectives on the issues they address. The range of authors reflects the broad spectrum of educational thinking today, while the ten-part organization and special features maintain the authors intended focus on maximizing learning opportunities and encouraging personal and professional reflection.

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From the Back Cover:

This text is designed to provide readers with the knowledge and understanding needed to make informed decisions about key educational issues in today's world and knowledge to not only shape their own personal professional growth but also the future of education.

Articles...
  • are timely and accessible.
  • reflect different perspectives in order to encourage critical thought and debate.
  • offer the thinking of a wide range of writers reflecting these different perspectives, including David Berliner, Larry Cuban, Elliot Eisner, Martin Haberman, and Sonia Nieto.
  • are organized topically under such headings as Diversity, Schools, Curriculum, Instruction, Technology, Governance and Finance, Teachers and Teacher Education, Foundations, and Educational Reform.
Supporting Pedagogy
  • Section Openers introduce each section and provide an overview of the major issues.
  • Article Overviews introduce each article, framing it in terms of its contribution to the field.
  • Think About This questions direct the reader to key points or issues in the article.
  • A Personal Reflection, the last question for each article, asks readers to apply the contents of the article to their own teaching situation.
  • Additional Resources at the end of each section are designed to encourage the reader to explore topics further, either through Additional Readings or Exploring the Internet.
  • A Correlating Table on the inside front and back covers links the articles in this text to topics typically covered in Introduction to Education and Foundations of Education texts. Arranged alphabetically by topic, the table allows students and instructors to cross reference articles in this text to topics discussed in other texts, including the authors' own Introduction to Teaching: Becoming a Professional, Second Edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

At no time in the history of our country has controversy over educational issues been more intense. While discourse and debate are essential in any democracy, the intense differences of opinion about controversial issues has energized the profession and engaged the public. Vouchers, charter schools, accountability, high-stakes testing, bilingual education, and the proper role of technology in teaching are just a few of these controversial topics.

A second trend is also developing. The movement toward professionalism requires that teachers have a deep understanding of all aspects of their profession, including the issues that exist in education today. With this understanding, teachers can make informed decisions that can result in positive change at the local, state, and even national levels. Change is inevitable; the abilities of professional educators to influence that change will depend on their ability to understand the issues and articulate their personal views.

Charting a Professional Course: Issues and Controversies in Education is designed to provide teachers with the knowledge and understanding needed to make informed decisions about major educational issues in today's world. This book is designed to provide teachers with knowledge to shape not only their own personal professional growth but also the future of education. It is intended to accompany any introduction to teaching or foundations of education textbook or to be used as a stand-alone textbook.

Criteria for Selection of Readings

Three criteria were used in selecting the readings for this book. The first was centrality. We selected articles that capture and analyze issues that currently have an important influence on today's education. The second was accessibility. Teachers must be able to read and understand the articles if they are to apply the information in their professional lives. All the articles are readable, and many are relatively short. The third is perspective. To make informed decisions about important educational issues, professionals need to understand all sides, so we selected articles that reflect different perspectives. The book's wide range of writers, including David Berliner, Larry Cuban, Elliot Eisner, Martin Haberman, and Sonia Nieto, helps to ensure these perspectives reflect current thinking on important educational issues.

Organization of the Text

This text is organized into 10 parts. Part One, Students, examines the central role that students play in the educational process. Part Two, Diversity, analyzes the opportunities and challenges provided by our increasingly diverse student populations. In Part Three, Schools, articles describe the different ways that schools are organized to promote student growth and achievement. Part Four, Curriculum, examines different perspectives on the selection and organization of learning experiences for students. Instruction is analyzed in Part Five, which provides differing views on the most effective ways to involve students in learning. Technology is changing the way we live, but the most effective ways to integrate technology into our classrooms remains unclear. Part Six examines different perspectives on technology use in the classroom. Governance and Finance are the focal points of Part Seven; many of the deepest controversies in education today focus on financing and governing education in the United States. Part Eight, Teachers and Teacher Education, attempts to help teachers better understand the factors influencing the teaching profession today, and how these factors shape who they are as educators. Foundations, the topic of Part Nine, reminds us that many contemporary controversies have roots in centuries-old historical and philosophical debates. Finally, Part Ten, Educational Reform, examines current efforts to improve education.

Features of the Text

We want this book to make a difference in teachers' professional lives. In addition to selecting articles that are timely and accessible, we have also written the book to maximize learning and encourage personal reflection. To supplement the readings, we have provided the following pedagogical aids:

  • Part openers introduce each part and provide an overview of the major issues.
  • Article overviews introduce each article, framing it in terms of its contribution to the field.
  • Think About This questions direct the reader to key points or issues in the article. The last question in this section is a personal reflection, which asks readers to apply the contents of the article to their own teaching situation.
  • Additional resources at the end of each part are designed to encourage the reader to explore topics further, either through Additional Readings or Exploring the Internet.
  • The Correlating Table, printed on the inside front and back covers, links the articles in this text to topics typically covered in introduction to education and foundations of education textbooks. Arranged alphabetically by topic, the table allows students and instructors to cross-reference articles in this book to topics discussed in others, including our own Introduction to Teaching: Becoming a Professional, 2nd Edition.

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