Volatile Knowing

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $24.00
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 63%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (7) from $24.00   
  • New (6) from $24.31   
  • Used (1) from $24.00   


Volatile Knowing refers to the potential for positive change that can result when parents and teachers talk with each other about the politics and policies of externally defined accountability mandates in education. This text tells the story of twelve teachers and parents who breached the unofficial but deeply inscribed home/school divide to discuss the current accountability-for-uniformity movement that has overtaken the nation's educational agenda at federal, state, and local levels. This kind of volatile knowing offers hope for progressively-minded citizens: that together, parents and teachers can ignite a new, child-centered movement for accountability and creativity in America's public schools. Volatile Knowing is based on a qualitative case study of a particular group of parents and teachers who studied and discussed information about the accountability movement that is typically censored in mainstream media coverage. The themes that emerged in this study are presented through the lens of Foucault's analysis of the workings of modern power. By making the exercise of hierarchical power visible to readers, it is hoped that Volatile Knowing will prompt an expanding conversation and ongoing study of the ways in which the people's definitional authority in their schools and society can be both lost and found.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Gary L. Anderson
In our current educational world of ruthless individualism, Kaia Tollefson attempts to reassemble the pieces of a broken democracy by bringing parents and teachers together for some honest conversation about the children they share. What she finds above all is that parents and teachers are hungry for authentic dialogue. In the context of the generally shallow research on 'parent involvement,' this study stands out for its honesty and integrity.
January 2009 CHOICE
From The Foreword
This eloquent, indignant, and scholarly book pulls down the screens obscuring the damage being done by the practices of accountability being imposed on public schools...This is a book that unnerves and awakens. Its readers may well see what they have seldom seen, hear what they have never heard.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739115596
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication date: 3/1/2008
  • Pages: 222
  • Product dimensions: 0.63 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Kaia Tollefson is assistant professor of education at California State University Channel Islands.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Part 1 Foreword Part 2 Acknowledgements Chapter 3 Accountability in the Schools: What the People Don't Know Chapter 4 Challenging the Virtually Unchallenged: A Personal Experience Chapter 5 Making Sense of the Accountability Movement: Organized (and Profitable) Malevolence Against the Public Schools Chapter 6 Redefining Accountability in Our Schools: Inviting Parents to the Learning Community Chapter 7 Research Findings: Tracing a Path Toward Hope Chapter 8 The Inversion of Visibility Chapter 9 The Instruments of Discipline Chapter 10 Reframing the Panopticon Part 11 Appendices Chapter 12 Methodology Chapter 13 Discipline in the Public School Panopticon Chapter 14 'smosis and the Evolution of the Public School Panopticon Part 15 Selected Bibliography Part 16 About the Author

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)