Thinking About Schools

A Foundations of Education Reader

Edited by Eleanor Blair Hilty

First Edition • March 1, 2011 • 560 pages

Print ISBN: 9780813344904 • $63.00 USD$81.99 CAN

Ebook ISBN: 9780813345192 • $39.99 USD$39.99 CAN


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Designed specifically for students with little or no education background, Thinking About Schools is an essential collection of classic and contemporary readings that provides a complete, balanced overview of educational foundations. Anchored in classic scholarship from the 1960s to today, this book also incorporates a number of thought-provoking popular essays that will engage students and encourage critical thinking about vital issues concerning the purpose of education, curriculum content, the roles and responsibilities of students and teachers, and new directions for education in the twenty-first century. In addition to selecting each reading for its impact and accessibility, editor Eleanor Blair Hilty further promotes student comprehension by including introductions, discussion questions, guides to further reading, and related resources for each of the five parts.

Eleanor Blair Hilty is an associate professor of education at Western Carolina University (WCU) in Cullowhee, North Carolina. She is the director of the MAED program in secondary education and teaches foundations of education courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She is a frequent visitor to Jamaica where she teaches Jamaican teachers enrolled in degree programs through WCU’s Jamaica Program. Her research on teacher’s work has extended over a twenty year period. This work has been presented at regional, national, and international conferences and published in various journals and books.

Introduction: The Questions That Guide Our Practice – Eleanor Blair Hilty

Part I : What Are the Aims and Purposes of Education?

1. Conflict and Consensus Revisited: Notes Toward a Reinterpretation of American Educational History – Carl Kaestle
2. A Past for the Present: History, Education, and Public Policy – Donald Warren
3. Intellectual Capital: A Civil Right – E.D. Hirsch, Jr.
4. Learning from the Past – Larry Cuban and David Tyack
5. We Want It All – John I. Goodlad

Discussion Questions
Guide to Further Reading
Related Resources

Part II: What Should Be the Content of the Curriculum?

6. The Shifting Ground of Curriculum Thought and Everyday Practice – William Ayers
7. But That’s Just Good Teaching! The Case for Culturally Relevant Pedagogy – Gloria Ladson-Billings
8. The Banking Concept of Education – Paulo Freire
9. Markets, Standards, God and Inequality – Michael Apple
10. The Silenced Dialogue: Power and Pedagogy in Educating Other People’s Children – Lisa Delpit

Discussion Questions
Guide to Further Reading
Related Resources

Part III: What Are the Roles and Responsibilities of Teacher Leaders?

11. Teachers as Transformative Intellectuals – Henry A. Giroux
12. On the Frontier of School Reform with Trailblazers, Pioneers, and Settlers – Phillip C. Schlechty
13. How To Build Leadership Capacity – Linda Lambert
14. Against the Grain – Marilyn Cochran-Smith
15. What Are We Doing Here? Building a Framework for Teaching – Joe L. Kincheloe, ed. Peter Lang

Discussion Questions
Guide to Further Reading
Related Resources

Part IV: What Are the Roles and Responsibilities of Students?

16. Adequate Schools and Inadequate Education: The Life History of a Sneaky Kid – Harry F. Wolcott
17. Educators, Homosexuality, and Homosexual Students: Are Personal Feelings Related to Professional Beliefs? – James T. Sears
18. At-Risk Children and the Common School Ideal – Barry M. Franklin
19. Silencing and Nurturing Voice in an Improbable Context: Urban Adolescents In Public School – Michelle Fine and Lois Weis
20. Standing for Students, Standing for Change – George Wood

Discussion Questions
Guide to Further Reading
Related Resources

Part V: What Are the Issues That Impact Twenty-First-Century Schools?

21. Grouping the Gifted and Talented: Questions and Answers – K. Rogers
22. Let’s Declare Education a Disaster and Get On with Our Lives – Frank Smith
23. The Professionally Challenged Teacher: Teachers Talk About School Failure – Eleanor Blair Hilty
24. The Educational Costs of Standardization – Linda McNeil
25. From “Separate but Equal” to “No Child Left Behind”: The Collision of New Standards and Old Inequalities – Linda Darling-Hammond
26. Closing the Achievement Gap by Detracking – Carol Corbett Burris and Kevin G. Welner
27. Still Separate, Still Unequal: America’s Educational Apartheid – Jonathan Kozol
28. Talking about Race, Learning about Racism: The application of Racial Identity Development Theory in the Classroom – Beverly Daniel Tatum
29. Come and Listen to a Story: The Appalachian Hillbilly in Popular Culture – M. J. Herzog
30. Rethinking Education in a Technological World – Allan Collins and Richard Halverson

Discussion Questions
Guide to Further Reading
Related Resources

“In Thinking about Schools, Eleanor Hilty has put together a wonderful collection of classic and contemporary readings that speak loudly and clearly to the importance of equity and justice as goals for contemporary education. This is just the right collection of readings to inspire and inform prospective and practicing teachers alike. It is the perfect text for introducing students to the social forces affecting public schooling in America.”

—Barry M. Franklin, Utah State University

Thinking about Schools will be welcomed by those who are interested in thought-provoking essays for aspiring and current teachers. Hilty’s introductory essays and discussion questions add significantly to the value of the volume.”

—Douglas Simpson, Texas Tech University

“Long before the rise of the modern corporation, Adam Smith noted how the merchants and mercantilists of his own era, though ‘incapable of considering themselves as sovereigns, even after they have become such … by a strange absurdity regard the character of the sovereign [the state] as but an appendix to that of the merchant, as something which ought to be made subservient to it.’ For anyone who pays attention to contemporary events in educational policy, Smith’s words hold tremendous explanatory power. If the public expects public schools to serve broader public interests, and not simply the narrow private and class interests of America’s corporate elite, that public needs to challenge the assumptions driving today’s reforms. Hilty’s volume offers us an impressive array of writings organized to invite us to do just that by rethinking the aims and purposes of education, the content of the curriculum, the roles and responsibilities of students, and the roles and responsibilities of teacher leaders.”

—David Gabbard, East Carolina University, author of Knowledge and Power in the Global Economy: The Effects of School Reform in a Neoliberal/Neoconservative Age

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