Volatile Knowing

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Overview

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.

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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
Recommended.
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.
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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.

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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

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