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The Social Foundations Reader: Critical Essays on Teaching, Learning and Leading in the 21st Century

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The Social Foundations Reader is meant for undergraduate and graduate students in introductory foundations of education classes. No other contemporary reader provides such a broad and yet critical view of the issues typically addressed in an introductory foundations course. Instead, most provide a generic and typically conservative perspective on schools and classrooms and do little to encourage students to consider the important roles of critical theory and social justice in the creation of school environments that are responsive to issues of equity and diversity. This book provides a different lens through which students can view what happens in twenty-first-century schools while also considering the perspectives of multiple constituencies: parents, teachers, students and communities. The reader of this text is exposed to a wide range of scholarship in the foundations of education; essays range from the more traditional work of John Dewey to the controversial ideas of Henry Giroux. Contested topics associated with teaching, learning and leading in contemporary public schools are considered within a context where grappling with the answers to fundamental questions that will ultimately guide meaningful school reform is an essential part of becoming an educator. Each of the five sections in the book is accompanied by an introduction and summary/reflection questions to both guide reading and challenge students to think critically about how to synthesize and apply the ideas being presented.

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About the Author:

Eleanor Blair (PhD, University of Tennessee, Knoxville) is Associate Professor at Western Carolina University (WCU). She teaches foundations of education courses in curriculum, teacher leadership and history/philosophy of education at WCU and in Jamaica through the WCU-Jamaica program. Recent publications include a revised edition of Teacher Leadership: The «New» Foundations of Teacher Education: A Reader and Foundations of Education: Teachers, Teaching and Teacher Leadership in Diverse 21st Century Schools (forthcoming in 2016).
Yolanda Medina is Associate Professor in the Teacher Education Department at BMCC/City University of New York. She is a co-editor of Latinas/os on the East Coast: A Critical Reader (Lang, 2015), and is the author of Critical Aesthetic Pedagogy: Toward a Theory of Self and Social Empowerment (2012) and of several articles and book chapters on critical pedagogy, cultural studies and aesthetic education. She is past president of the American Educational Studies Association (AESA) and vice president of the Maxine Greene Center for Aesthetic Education and Social Imagination.

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