Classroom In Conflict

Classroom In Conflict

by John A. Williams
     
 

This book transcends recent debates about political correctness to address the underlying problems of teaching controversial subjects in the college and university history classroom. The author criticizes both sides of the debate, rejecting, on the one hand, calls for a uniform, chronological history curriculum and, on the other hand, claims that only ethnic or racial… See more details below

Overview

This book transcends recent debates about political correctness to address the underlying problems of teaching controversial subjects in the college and university history classroom. The author criticizes both sides of the debate, rejecting, on the one hand, calls for a uniform, chronological history curriculum and, on the other hand, claims that only ethnic or racial “insiders” are qualified to teach about their communities.

In chapters on colonial, comparative, and African history, Williams applies the concept of “Gandhian truth” to historical subjects, moving through tentative and flexible perspectives to achieve a complex picture of historical episodes. And in chapters on imperialism, nationalism, racism, and the problem of “the other,” he discusses the difficult and contingent nature of conceptual language. In the second half of the book, he addresses framing rules of discussion by which sensitive issues can be discussed with diverse audiences, the relationship of American pluralism to a world perspective, and what can be accomplished through an education in pluralism.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This is a remarkable book. It does more to open up a dialogue about important questions in higher education than any other book I have read. Williams has taken on many difficult teaching situations and, using his own experiences, built a convincing case for a continuing dialogue on teaching about pluralism.” — Glenn A. Linden, Southern Methodist University

“John A. Williams has given us not another critical polemic or reformist panacea but rather a cautionary tale focused upon his own teaching—and learning—experience. Classroom in Conflict is that rare thing: a user’s manual for the college teacher that is also a philosophical contribution to education. In moments of reflection—and they are many—its insights illuminate our times.” — from the Foreword by William R. Taylor

Booknews
Addresses the underlying problems of teaching controversial subjects in the college and university history classroom. Williams (history, State U. of New York) challenges the claim that only ethnic or racial "insiders" are qualified to teach about their communities. In chapters on African history, imperialism, nationalism, and racism, he applies the concept of "Ghandian truth" to historical subjects, gives guidelines for leading classroom discussion on sensitive issues, and addresses the relationship of American pluralism to a world perspective. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780791421208
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
09/08/1994
Series:
Suny Series, Philosophy of Education Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.51(d)

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