Just Schooling: Explorations in the Cultural Politics of Teaching
Open University Press
Publication Date :
1 Jan 2000
"For readers concerned not just with schooling but with just schooling, Trevor Gale and Kathleen Densmore have provided a practical, yet theoretically framed, exploration of how we might move towards its achievement. This is a book that should be read by the educational policy community, including teachers, administrators, policy makers, parents, community activists and politicians." - Bob Lingard, University of Queensland, Australia "...richly textured and finely nuanced ...strikingly original and powerfully rendered...Just Schooling is, above all, a triumph of commonsense, accumulated and collaborative wisdom, and elegantly measured and sober research. The book makes a major contribution to a field marred repeatedly by thoughtless academic invasions and premature pronouncements. It will force teacher educators to reappraise the taken for granted in pedagogical practices in the new millennium in an educational field in which contemporary scholars search around desperately for new signposts of change."- Cameron McCarthy,University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,USA "This will be an important and influential book in furthering democratic practices in and through education. It is clearly written, introducing complex issues and ideas to teachers in deceptively simple language. At the same time, it gives a voice to teachers themselves, but not in an uncritical manner. The book's sensitive exploration of the relations between individuals, groups and social structures constitutes an impressive illustration of the 'sociological imagination' at work". - Geoff Whitty, Karl Mannheim Professor of Sociology of Education and Dean of Research, Institute of Education, University of London * Why do some students 'succeed' and others 'fail' at school? * How are classroom relations influenced by the language that teachers use and the stories they tell about their students? Just Schooling is an exercise in the cultural politics of teaching. It invites teachers and interested others to rethink what they know about social justice and to rework how they engage in the practices of teaching (what they say and do), particularly in relation to how these influence the lives of students. Informed by a recognitive view of social justice, Just Schooling analyses the various discourses and ideologies mobilized in classrooms that implicitly and explicitly determine what is understood by (i) the nature and centrality of language, (ii) the purposes and meaning of education, and (iii) the diversity of students, particularly with respect to their gender, race and social class but also their learning dis/abilities. Throughout, the authors argue for a democratization of classroom relations, beginning with students' and teachers' personal lives and connecting these with wider contexts, as a way of addressing the advantages and disadvantages traditionally reproduced by schooling.