Thursday, December 31, 2009

Essays on Ecologically Sustainable Educational Reforms

One of our authors in our current issue on "The Hidden Dimensions of Poverty: Rethinking Poverty and Education" has announced his new online book that is available for downloading as part of the "cultural commons." You can find the book, Essays on Ecologically Sustainable Educational Reforms by C.A. Bowers, by going to Also check out Chet Bower's article in our journal entitled, "Rethinking Social Justice Issues Within an Eco-Justice Conceptual and Moral Framework."

Below is the table of contents for the book:

Essays on Ecologically Sustainable Educational Reforms
By C.A. Bowers

Chapter 1 Making the Transition from Individual to Ecological Intelligence: The Challenge Facing Curriculum Theorists

Chapter 2 The Limitations of the Daniel Goleman/Wal-Mart View of Ecological Intelligence

Chapter 3 The Hidden Roots of Cultural Colonization in Teaching English as a Second Language

Chapter 4 Reflections on Teaching the Course “Curriculum Reform in an Era of Global Warming”

Chapter 5 University Reforms that Contribute to the Revitalization of the Cultural Commons

Chapter 6 The Environmental Ethic in Three Theories of Evolution

Chapter 7 Educating for a Sustainable Future: Mediating Between the Commons and Economic Globalization

Chapter 8 The Imperialistic Agenda of Moacir Gadotti’s Eco-Pedagogy

UPDATE: For readers who have had difficulty finding the book, here is a direct link:

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Even Diane Ravitch has Now Changed her Mind

Diane Ravitch, who was once the great advocate for test-based accountability and other reforms so favored by our current Secretary of Education, has come to see the realities of these reforms once they are implemented in the schools. Her forthcoming book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education, brings into question many of her earlier commitments. In a recent talk, Ravitch says, "Where once I had been hopeful, even enthusiastic, about the potential benefits of testing, accountability, choice, and markets, I now found myself experiencing profound doubts about the same ideas.” In explaining her change of mind, Ravitch says, “What was the compelling evidence that prompted me to reevalute the policies I had endorsed many times over the previous decade? Why did I now doubt ideas I had once advocated?” she asked. “The short answer is that my views changed because I saw how these ideas were working in reality.”

Here is the link to her recent talk that I found on the Paul Thomas' blog.

The Journal of Educational Controversy is planning an upcoming issue on the topic, "Schools Our Children Deserve." We hope to begin a more substantive national discussion on the purposes of our public schools. Some of today's most progressive thinkers will be contributing to the conversation.


For an interesting review of the book, see: the Sunday, February 28, 2010 post,
The Death and Life of the Great American School System, on the Education Policy Blog.

If you are interested in reviewing the book for our upcoming issue, e-mail us at:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Zinn Education Project

Our readers may want to check out a new website called, Teaching a Peoples History -- the Zinn Education Project.

It is a collaborative effort by Teaching for Change and Rethinking Schools.

Influenced by Howard Zinn's classic book, A People's History of the United States, as well as his other works in revisionist history, this website provides educators and viewers lessons and resources for teaching a fuller, broader perspective on the history of the United States. Check it out.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

“American Indians in Children’s Literature” Blog

I have been following a very informative blog that would be helpful for teachers who are trying to understand the rich cultural lives of an increasingly diverse student population in our schools. Called, “American Indians in Children’s Literature,” it helps teachers to grow in their understanding, appreciation and discernment of Native American literature. It also corrects so many of our misconceptions. Actually it goes beyond just books and says its mission is to provide "critical perspectives of indigenous peoples in children's books, the school curriculum, popular culture, and society-at-large." As always, we try to bring our readers multiple perspectives on issues.

If you are aware of other resources that would expand our understanding of the cultural diversity of our students, please let us know in your comments to this blog and we will share them.