The Skeptical Visionary: A Seymour Sarason Educational Reader

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Seymour Sarason, in the words of Carl Glickman, is "one of America's seminal thinkers about public education." For over four decades his has been a voice of much-needed skepticism about our plans for school reform, teacher training, and educational psychology. Now, for the first time, Sarason's essential writings on these and other issues are collected together, offering student and researcher alike with the range, depth, and originality of Sarason's contributions to American thinking on schooling.

As we go from debate to debate on issues such as school choice, charter schools, inclusive education, national standards, and other problems that seem to drag on without solution, Sarason's critical stance on the folly of many of our attempts to fix schools has always had at the center a concern for the main players in our educational institutions: the students, the teachers and the parents. Any plans that cannot account for their well-being are doomed to failure. And in the face of such failure, the clarity of Sarason's vision for real educational success is a much-needed antidote to much of the rhetoric that currently passes for substantial debate.

A wide-ranging and comprehensive selection of Sarason's most significant writings, The Skeptical Visionary should find a prized space on any student's or teacher's bookshelf.

Author Biography: Robert Fried is Associate Professor in the School of Education at Northeastern University, and is the author of The Passionate Teacher: A Practical Guide and The Passionate Learner: How Teachers and Parents Can Help Children Reclaim the Joy of Discovery.

Seymour Sarason is ProfessorEmeritus in the Department of Psychology at Yale University. He is the author of over forty books and is considered to be one of the most significant researchers in education and educational psychology in the country.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566399791
  • Publisher: Temple University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2003
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Editor's Note and Acknowledgments xi
Editor's Introduction: Seymour Sarason: Sculptor of Ideas 1
Part I The Teacher
Chapter 1 Powerlessness Unanticipated 13
Chapter 2 You Know More Than You Think and More Than They Give You Credit For 19
Chapter 3 Why Teachers Must Also Be Psychologists 27
Chapter 4 Teaching as a Lonely Profession 41
Chapter 5 Power Relationships in the Classroom 46
Chapter 6 Constitutional Issues in the Classroom 58
Chapter 7 The "Nonreading" Professional 70
Part II The School
Chapter 8 The School Culture and Processes of Change 79
Chapter 9 Underestimating Complexity 92
Chapter 10 Programmatic and Behavioral Regularities 98
Chapter 11 Confronting Intractability 111
Chapter 12 Conceptualizing the Educational System 117
Chapter 13 Predictable Features and Problems in the Creation of Charter Schools and Other New Organizational Settings 130
Part III Students and Parents
Chapter 14 Themes from Childhood and Adolescence 147
Chapter 15 Columbine High School and Contexts of Productive Learning 158
Chapter 16 An Overarching Goal for Students 171
Chapter 17 Students as Teachers 183
Chapter 18 Parental Involvement and Power Struggles: Applying the Political Principle to Relationships Within the School and Beyond 193
Chapter 19 The Governors: Teachers and Parents 210
Part IV The Political and Policy Agenda
Chapter 20 The Non-Learning, Non-Self-Correcting System 225
Chapter 21 Are Schools Unique Organizations? 234
Chapter 22 Our Expectations of Political Leaders 245
Chapter 23 America's Only Serious Education President 256
Chapter 24 What Should We Do? 271
Part V Tables of Contents from Sarason's Books on Education
Educational Reform: A Self-Scrutinizing Memoir 285
Questions You Should Ask About Charter Schools and Vouchers 286
American Psychology and Schools 286
Teaching as a Performing Art 286
Charter Schools: Another Flawed Educational Reform? 287
Crossing Boundaries: Collaboration, Coordination, and the Redefinition of Resources 287
Political Leadership and Educational Failure 287
How Schools Might Be Governed and Why 288
Barometers of Change: Individual, Educational, and Social Transformation 288
Revisiting "The Culture of the School and the Problem of Change" 289
Parental Involvement and the Political Principle 289
School Change: The Personal Development of a Point of View 290
Psychoanalysis, General Custer and the Verdicts of History and Other Essays on Psychology in the Social Scene 290
Letters to a Serious Education President 291
You Are Thinking of Teaching? Opportunities, Problems, Realities 291
The Case for Change: Rethinking the Preparation of Educators 291
The Predictable Failure of Educational Reform 292
The Challenge of Art to Psychology 292
The Making of an American Psychologist: An Autobiography 292
Schooling in America: Scapegoat and Salvation 293
Educational Handicap, Public Policy, and Social History: A Broadened Perspective on Mental Retardation 293
Work, Aging, and Social Change: Professionals and the One Life-One Career Imperative 294
The Creation of Settings and the Future Societies 295
The Culture of the School and the Problem of Change 295
The Psycho-Educational Clinic: Papers and Research Studies 295
The Preparation of Teachers: An Unstudied Problem in Education 296
Anxiety in Elementary School Children: A Report of Research 296
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