2021 Outstanding Academic Titles: Education

Choice 2021 Outstanding Academic Titles education selections.

Five selections from the Choice Reviews 2021 Outstanding Academic Titles list. This week we highlight Choice 2021 Outstanding Academic Titles about education.

Outstanding Academic Titles 2021 Opportunity for all: a framework for quality and equality in education book cover
1.Opportunity for all: a framework for quality and equality in education
Jennifer A. O’Day and Marshall S. Smith Harvard Education Press, 2020

O’Day (American Institutes for Research) and Smith (Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching) effectively elucidate “the evolution of standards-based approaches” to education for policy makers, professors, school administrators, researchers, and parents. They argue that a more equitable and effective education system in the US is both necessary and possible, reminding readers of the significance of bringing multiple perspectives to the table to inform and pursue educational improvement. Suggesting that quality and equality are “inextricably linked,” the authors contend that moving beyond “short-term fixes and magic bullets” will require a systemic approach that incorporates a coherent standards-based policy foundation, targeted strategies to address inequality and school failure, and partnerships between schools and other child-serving agencies and community groups. As they conclude, implementing such an approach would require a “theory of change” and strategies to “leverage pressure and support for improvement in the policy, professional and public arenas. View on Amazon

2. Pedagogies of with-ness: students, teachers, voice and agency
ed. by Linda Hogg et al Myers Education Press, 2020
Outstanding Academic Titles 2021 Pedagogies of with-ness: students, teachers, voice and agency book cover

There is, unfortunately, no consensus as to the purpose of public education. Stances range from passing along basic knowledge and skills, to preparing students for civic responsibility, to promoting self-actualization, leadership, and activism. The editors of this collection align with the latter perspective, guided by an underlying assumption that students are endowed with an innate ability to think critically, make decisions, and serve as agents of change. Given this vision, schools need to support and nurture these proficiencies. The book is the product of many voices, a collaboration between four editors and 27 contributing authors who address this frame of reference. Part 1 offers portraits of students whose voices are marginalized with respect to their race, ethnicity, gender, or special needs. Part 2 focuses on approaches to culturally responsive education that would benefit such students. Part 3 pulls things together by asking readers more broadly to consider learning as a partnership between teachers and students. Taken collectively, this volume provides a solid, passionate argument for reimagining American educational systems. View on Amazon

3. The essential renewal of America’s schools: a leadership guide for democratizing schools from the inside out
Glickman, Carl D. by Carl Glickman and Ian M. Mette Teachers College Press, 2020
Outstanding Academic Title 2021 - The essential renewal of America’s schools: a leadership guide for democratizing schools from the inside out book cover

The year 2020 marks the beginning of the global coronavirus pandemic and the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It is also a presidential election year in the US. Given these events, this book by Glickman (emer., Univ. of Georgia) and Mette (Univ. of Maine) could not be timelier as it demonstrates how teaching and learning are key assets to ensure that democracy will continue to thrive. Organized into three parts, the text provides a framework for schools to return their focus to the needs of students, parents, and community members at the local level. The authors urge local leaders to take action by utilizing collaborative pedagogical principles of teaching and learning.Part 1 develops the necessary decision-making process from the inside out. Part 2 deals with tough issues, such as developing district policies. Part 3 moves beyond ideas and expands on restructuring policies with external regulations. This year, schools across the US have implemented a variety of teaching methods—remote, hybrid, and face-to-face learning. View on Amazon

4. Literacy and deaf education: toward a global understanding
Ned. by Qiuying Wang and Jean F. Andrews Gallaudet, 2020
Outstanding Academic Title 2021 - Literacy and deaf education: toward a global understanding book cover

Nevins (librarian, Lone Star College, Tomball) has written numerous books on comics, Victoriana, and pulp literature, including The Evolution of the Costumed Avenger: The 4000-Year History of the Superhero (CH, Sep’17, 55-0038). In the present book Nevins provides an overview of horror fiction across the entire 20th century. The book comprises three chronological parts (each with 5–6 chapters), framed by an introduction and an epilogue. The first part spans the years 1901–39, what the author argues is the latter half of the genre’s Golden Age; part two covers 1940–70; and part three covers 1971–2000. The chapters look at major figures and developments by geographic region, niche market, theme, and so on. A true strength of the book is its scope: in a genre stereotypically defined by white, male authors, this book takes a broad, international approach to its subject. Each part includes a chapter that examines horror fiction “outside the Anglosphere,” looking at literature produced in numerous European, African, Asian, and South American countries. Though modest in size, the book does an excellent job of discussing many notable, often-overlooked authors as well as all the major writers of the genre. View on Amazon.

5. Transforming history: a guide to effective, inclusive, and evidence-based teaching
Festle, Mary Jo. Wisconsin, 2020
Outstanding Academic Title 2021 - Transforming history: a guide to effective, inclusive, and evidence-based teaching book cover

Despite never having been an undergraduate history instructor, this reviewer would recommend this book to anyone who teaches any subject at the secondary, post-secondary, or even graduate level. Why? Transforming History seamlessly melds the science of learning with discipline-specific content in an engaging and intelligent way. Each chapter provides practical, concrete, and evidence-based ideas for organizing some important components of instruction, including syllabi, lectures, discussions, assignments, evaluations, relationships with students, and mentorships with other professionals. Most important, these suggestions can be adapted to the online environment, which seems to be the hub for education for the foreseeable future. Rarely in life does this reviewer find a resource so well-composed that it seems to have the power to reawaken intellectual life if it is widely used. View on Amazon.

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