How can schools teach the skills required for a strong democracy to flourish? What Kind of Citizen? asks readers to imagine the kind of society they would like to live in - and then shows the ways in which schools can be used to make that vision a reality.
Westheimer draws on groundbreaking research on school programs and policies to sharply critique the current direction of school reform. He points to the many varied and powerful ways to teach children and young adults to engage critically, to think about social issues, and to participate in authentic debate that acknowledges that intelligent adults can have different opinions. But today's teachers are being forced to abandon these practices in favor of test-preparation in only a very narrow set of academic subjects. How did this happen? What can we do to set schools back on the right track? How can we realign school goals with what research shows parents, children, and teachers actually care about? How can we save our schools from today's myopic interpretation of what constitutes an education? Westheimer answers these questions and makes a powerful call for schools to become more engaging, more democratic, and more educative.
About the Author
Joel Westheimer is professor and university research chair in democracy and education at the University of Ottawa and education columnist for CBC Radio. He is the editor of Pledging Allegiance: The Politics of Patriotism in America's Schools.
Wednesday, September 16 2015
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"Joel Westheimer has written a necessary and brilliant book. Not only does he dismantle the pedagogy of testing, instrumental rationality, and repression at work in the public schools, he reclaims and extends the important goal of defining schools as democratic public spheres, students as engaged citizens, and social responsibility as central to the project of education." --Henry Giroux, Global Television Network Chair in Communication Studies, McMaster Univeristy
"In this refreshingly accessible book, Westheimer explains the importance of helping students to think critically and question tradition." --Alfie Kohn, author of Feel-Bad Education and The Myth of the Spoiled Child
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