Education Deform: Bright People Sometimes Say Stupid Things About Education / Edition 1

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According to James M. Kauffman, too much of what is said today about educational reform is nonsense that shortchanges students, parents, and taxpayers. This deforms education rather than reforming it. The primary objective of this book is to help teachers, teacher educators, policy makers, and parents think more critically about current rhetoric about education. Reason and science in the enlightenment tradition are more helpful in reforming and improving education than political agendas. Reform should focus on instruction. Education must address the full range of learners, from those who are mentally retarded to those who are intellectually gifted. Special education, multicultural education, and standardized testing are among the controversial issues explored. Extremes of both left and right ideologies are rejected in favor of careful thinking and sound judgment.

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Editorial Reviews

Teachers College Record
This is an important book. It deserves to be carefully read and richly critiqued. In wonderfully clear and often entertaining prose, James M. Kauffman fully exposes and explores one of the most important intellectual controversies in contemporary scholarship.
Learning Disability Quartery
[Kauffman offers] some of the more important and relevant [suggestions] for special education and the field of learning disabilities.
Behavioral Disorders
Kauffman's writing is clear, concise, and provocative…I highly recommend the book to those who are interested in thinking seriously about what has been said and written recently about general and special education issues.
Psychology In The Schools
Kauffman's book makes for provocative reading and may cause readers to question the special education status quo.
Kathleen McGee Benton
One of the most thought provoking and insightful books I've read in a long time. Kauffman provides meaning where none existed and points out the nonsense of empty jargon and rhetoric with straight talk. While he's sure to anger those who play politics, he is a hero to those of us who have to live with their decisions
Maureen A. Conroy
Education Deform: Bright People Sometimes Say Stupid Things about Education by James Kauffman is one of the most evocative books I have read in years. In this book, Kauffman has the courage to challenge current political trends in education asking us to think beyond mainstream politics and examine issues that may at first seem counter-intuitive to our basic instincts as educators. I highly recommend this as a required reading for all future leaders in the field of education
Martha Coutinho
Education Deform is the most informative and provocative set of essays about education to be published in recent times. Dr. Kauffmans wisdom, candor, and grit make this text impossible to put down and will be invaluable to those seeking to narrow the gap between what we know and what we would like to believe about education.
Elizabeth M. Campbell
In reading this book, I realized it isn't just me. Much of what is said about education really doesn't make sense! Kauffman says things in this book that need to be shouted from the rooftops—read by as many parents and educators as possible
Gary M. Sasso
This book should be read by anyone concerned about the education and welfare of our children and effective, evidence-based practice. It is a breath of fresh air, and will be welcomed by all those who have been alarmed by the incoherence of many of our contemporary 'experts'.
Kauffman (education, U. of Virginia) writes a scathing but elaborately detailed expose of the muddled linguistics, vapid expressions, and other extremely annoying and, he argues, destructive linguistic and ideological tactics and approaches commonly used in discussion about education. Much of the volume is taken up with critiquing postmodernism, the radical right and radical left, and a plethora of irksome euphemisms. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810843141
  • Publisher: R&L Education
  • Publication date: 1/28/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 5.86 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

James M. Kauffman is the Charles S. Robb Professor of Education, University of Virginia. In 2006, he received the SABA Award for Effective Presentation in the Mass Media and in 1994, he received the Research Award of the Council for Exceptional Children. His publications include over 100 articles in refereed journals and leading textbooks in special education. He is the author of several books including Characteristics of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders of Children and Youth, Exceptional Learners: Introduction to Special Education), The Least Restrictive Environment: Its Origins and Interpretations in Special Education.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 The Deforming Effects of Nonsense Chapter 2 The Art of the Stupid Chapter 3 Slogans and Other Trivialities Chapter 4 Self-Contradictions, Nonsequiturs, and Denials Chapter 5 Misleading Statements Chapter 6 The Unintelligible Chapter 7 Making Sense about Education

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