Critical Social Issues in American Education: Transformation in a Postmodern World / Edition 2

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This carefully structured reader provides a focus for thinking about education in the context of a society that now--in the final years of this millennium--is faced with a range of critical, sometimes catastrophic, issues and problems. These include: poverty and growing social injustice, racism and sexism, and other forms of exclusion; the depersonalization of social and political life; the moral and spiritual decay of the culture; and the ecological deterioration of the planet. Although this volume focuses on American society, there is also concern with the larger global community.

The book is intended to work on two levels. First, it helps readers develop an awareness of how education is connected to the wider social structures of social, cultural, political, and economic life. Second, it encourages not only a critical examination of our present social reality but also a serious discussion of alternatives--of what a transformed society and educational process might look like. The editors' goal in this text is to deliberately engage readers in connecting the work of teachers to an ethically-committed, politically-charged pedagogy.

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Table of Contents

Pt. I The Future of Capitalism: Contradiction and Crisis 1
1 Killing Society: The Ungluing of America 5
2 End of the Millennium: Capitalism's Dynamism, Civic Crises, and Corresponding Consequences for Education 27
3 Clinton and Education: Policies Without Meaning 45
4 Learning the Ropes 57
5 Sustainable Livelihoods: Redefining the Global Social Crisis 69
Pt. II Social Justice: Promises and Despair 83
6 Illusions of Progress: Business as Usual 89
7 Tracking, Inequality, and the Rhetoric of Reform: Why Schools Don't Change 127
8 Money, Schools, & Courts 149
9 What Should We Call People? Race, Class, and the Census for 2000 157
10 What We Talk About When We Talk About Welfare 169
Pt. III Marginality and Difference: The Fractured Community 175
11 The Politics of Insurgent Multiculturalism in the Era of the Los Angeles Uprising 181
12 Becoming Educated: A Journey of Alienation or Integration? 199
13 The Impact of Culture and Ideology on the Construction of Gender and Sexual Identities: Developing a Critically Based Sexuality Curriculum 213
14 A Parent's Dilemma: Public vs. Jewish Education 231
15 Special Education and the Quest for Human Dignity 241
16 English Only: The Tongue-Tying of America 261
Pt. IV Curriculum and Teaching: Dangers and Dreams 273
17 Education as a Political Issue (I) 279
18 Education as a Political Issue (II) 289
19 Educational Computing as a Value-Laden Technology 299
20 Care and Moral Education 309
21 Education and Spirituality 321
22 Critical and Constructive Postmodernism: The Transformative Power of Holistic Education 337
23 Social Transformation and Holistic Education: Limitations and Possibilities 355
Pt. V Toward the 21st Century: Global Catastrophe or Social Transformation? 371
24 Beyond Liberation and Excellence: A Discourse for Education as Transformation 373
Author Index 411
Subject Index 417
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