This collection of 20 short essays on education issues and reform offers a multitude of perspectives from experienced educators. In his intro, the ediThis collection of 20 short essays on education issues and reform offers a multitude of perspectives from experienced educators. In his intro, the editor comments that he uses a "I used to think.....now I think....." activity with his student's to help them assess what they've learned. When he tried to do the same thing with some education reformers he was working with, they all refused. How will we get useful reform if even professional educators aren't willing to reflect on what THEY are learning? So he collected essays from thoughtful educators who do. I've noted several good ones in my quotes and comments from the book here on Good Reads. If you're an educator, take the short time necessary to read this book. ...more
Skimmed. Collection of scholarly articles by historians and educators from radical perspectives about how to reform social studies education in the USSkimmed. Collection of scholarly articles by historians and educators from radical perspectives about how to reform social studies education in the US to escape the straight jacket of NCLB and high-stakes testing and spur students toward activism and social justice.
What amazes me is that these folks have such a passion for DOING something to make the world a better place for repressed, marginalized, or exploited groups of people around the world; and they want students to get that same passion.
This is what I wish my theological perspective would engender in its congregants, yet most of the people in my church would be afraid of the ideologies expressed by authors in this anthology.
Anyway, if you are a social studies educator and not afraid of controversial ideas, you may find this collection interesting. ...more
One of my former students who is now a philosophy major at Covenant College suggested that I read this book -- no, he *urged* me to read it. And I'm sOne of my former students who is now a philosophy major at Covenant College suggested that I read this book -- no, he *urged* me to read it. And I'm so thankful.
Dr Smith serves on the philosophy faculty at Calvin College and has published several papers and books on the topic of postmodernism and the modern church. This book draws heavily on that background but launches into a totally different direction: the connection between worship and education.
In brief: Smith argues that more than "knowers" or "worldview-holders" or "believers," humans are at our cores "lovers" or "desirers." The way we define "the good life" (his accessible term for mankind's telos) affects everything about our morals, values, and beliefs. So targeting someone's worldview isn't going to really change how they are. You have to reshape what they LOVE.
Smith then argues that God has always intended for Church worship (liturgy in a broad sense) to be the tool whereby the Gospel challenges our sinful vision of the Good Life and replaces it with one that is biblically aligned. Thus, worship in all of its practices is essential to an effective Christian educational institution.
Along the way, Smith takes time to analyze the "liturgies" offered to us by the World. He attacks the mall/consumerism (easy to see), the military/industrial complex (hard for me to agree with) and a few others. Then Smith analyzes at length the typical, liturgical church service, pointing out all the ways the practices of corporate worship model for us a different way of thinking, valuing, and acting.
Despite some of my minor disagreements with Smith (I really don't think the government is out to destroy all that is good and happy), this is an outstanding read for anyone who wants a new way to view the human being within a Reformed theological construct. Usually Reformed thinking reduces people to being brains that need to believe certain ideas. Smith restores the heart to its proper place in our view of mankind, with an argument that I find theologically compelling. As such, it's welcome refreshment in what often seems to be a rather dry theological trudge through the world of Reformed practice.
Smith wrote the book as the opening of a trilogy on Christian education. But don't skip it if you're not an educator. Anyone interested in training the Christian mind (pastors, teachers, parents) will benefit from this book.
Warning -- this isn't entry-level Reformed thinking. If you aren't familiar with the more Dutch-flavored worldview of Al Wolters and Nik Woltersdorff, you really should read Wolters' excellent little book on the Reformed worldview first. It's called Creation Regained. ...more
This is a fascinating book. Ordered it in hard copy from Amazon after reading the preface in an online article (I love Flipboard for jewels like this)This is a fascinating book. Ordered it in hard copy from Amazon after reading the preface in an online article (I love Flipboard for jewels like this). The author lived in France for several years while raising her young children and noticed significant differences between French and American parenting styles. Instead of being frazzled, stressed, overworked, guilty like American women, the French ladies with kids enjoyed a lot of peace and quiet in their homes, even with babies and toddlers underfoot. French little ones don't whine and wheedle like American kids do. Maybe it was in the parenting? Druckerman's study of French parenting led her to interview pediatricians on both sides of the Altantic, experts in child psychology, and locals. She quotes a healthy amount of printed research in her endnotes, though her lack of French fluency (as far as I can tell) seems to limit her access to actual research. But this isn't a research book. It's a personal inquiry into why the French women surrounding Druckerman in Paris were so much happier being both women AND mothers. A lot of the parenting boils down to firm rules, polite enforcement, and an expectation that even small kids can obey. (Sounds a lot like how I was raised -- not surprising since what Druckerman finds in Paris partly parallels the very traditional methods common in America before the permissive-parenting revolution.)
She covers a variety of topics in the chapters including eating and mealtimes, discipline, preschool and elementary education, and social custtoms. Her portrayal of neurotic NYC parents really made me shake my head. I don't know what happened to the rugged independence of the average American. I think it got killed under layers of news-induced fear, irrational paranoia, and hand sanitizer. I've never really been a Francophile but there's a chunk of me that would happily move to France to raise my kids, at least into their elementary years, thanks to this book. ...more