Outstanding Academic Titles 2023: Education

This week we highlight, Outstanding Academic Titles from the past year pertaining to education.

Enjoy these five selections from the Choice Reviews 2023 Outstanding Academic Titles list. This week we highlight, Outstanding Academic Titles from the past year pertaining to education. A hearty congratulations to the winning authors, editors and publishers!

1. Academic outsider: stories of exclusion and hope
bReyes, Victoria. Stanford, 2022

Reyes (Univ. of California, Riverside), the author of Global Borderlands (CH, Mar’20, 57-2453), is a sociologist, a first-generation Filipino American, and a mother. Moreover, she is also a self-described outsider in the academy, where the norms still privilege white, straight, wealthy, cisgender men. In six personal essays, Reyes uses her experience as a jumping-off point to critique academic structures of knowledge and power, drawing on sociological analysis and women of color feminisms to shape a narrative that goes well beyond memoir. Providing insightful commentary and a fascinatingly diverse reading list in both the text and the endnotes, this volume ends with a call to action to change “how we approach our own and others’ research, teaching, and service” (p. 129), cultivating a community of care within the academy. View on Amazon


2. Secret lives of children in the digital age: disruptive devices and resourceful learners
by Linda Laidlaw, Joanne O’Mara, and Suzanna So Har Wong Myers Education Press, 2022

Teachers and parents frequently express concern about children’s use of technology both in schools and at home. They raise questions about the amount of time children should spend in front of screens, what constitutes appropriate use of digital devices, and whether children are safe when they are online. Laidlaw (Univ. of Alberta, Canada), O’Mara (Deaking Univ., Australia), and Wong (Univ. of Alberta, Canada) show readers how digital devices such as iPads have disrupted stale, more traditional forms of teaching, learning, and engagement that take place in schools and homes today. Through myriad research studies, they demonstrate the positive impact that digital devices have on children’s critical thinking, learning, and growth, even among children with disabilities. The authors address important questions that educators and parents have in terms of what constitutes appropriate technology use; what it means to be literate in today’s digital world; teachers’ and parents’ roles in this endeavor; and perhaps most importantly, children’s agency as producers and users of digitally mediated knowledge. View on Amazon


3. The education myth: how human capital trumped social democracy
Shelton, Jon. Cornell, 2023

Shelton (democracy and justice studies, Univ. of Wisconsin) explores the history of the idea that education is the key to the good life in the United States—an idea he calls the “education myth.” Shelton documents how the purpose of education has changed, narrowing from relatively broad democratic and social aims to “you only deserve an economic livelihood if you get yourself the right education” (p. x). Strikingly, Shelton locates an origin of right-wing populism in the backlash against this narrowly professional-class, elitist, meritocratic mythology. He defends a social-democratic vision that favors a broad range of people, including workers with little formal education, as key to saving American democracy. Here, Shelton configures the democratic and social role of education within his broader vision of a social-democratic order centered on securing economic and social well-being. Given the current intense political divisions, Shelton’s analysis is especially timely and, despite appearance, not doctrinaire. The analysis will challenge readers, no matter their political affiliation, to think differently about education and its relationship to “economic security and social respect” (p. ix). View on Amazon


4. Bankers in the ivory tower: the troubling rise of financiers in US higher education
Eaton, Charlie. Chicago, 2022

This thoroughly researched, scholarly case study systemically examines the present higher education system. Eaton (sociology, Univ. of California, Merced) identifies the disparate players involved and examines their interactions. He compares the foundational goals and principles of higher education to present-day outcomes that have skewed the rewards/benefits away from the stated goals. As Eaton demonstrates, the withdrawal of public financing and the substitution of student loans as a means of access to education has driven both systemic inequality and the transformation of higher education into a vast hedge fund. This financialization creates a closed system in which elite institutions educate the future financiers who later use their credentials to benefit investors rather than benefit students. This sophisticated, data-driven investigation into the complex relationships between financial institutions and higher education reveals a portrait of inequality, limited access, and the transformation of higher education from a public good into something quite different. Eaton also offers a way to reimagine the current system that would realign it with its traditional values.
View on Amazon


5Philosophy of education: thinking and learning through history and practice
Ryder, John. Rowman & Littlefield, 2022

Ryder’s new book is a much-needed expression of what might be termed a classic approach to the foundational study of education. As such, it aims to draw relationships among the metaphysical, epistemological, and axiological assumptions people hold and the educational practices, institutions, and policies they endorse. Ryder’s goal is to bring a systematic analysis to bear on these ideational relationships. The first part of his book seeks to understand how these relationships manifest in the works of four key thinkers: Plato, Rousseau, Dewey, and Freire. Part 1 covers some familiar territory but is written in a lively style that will engage even beginning undergraduate students. Part 2, better suited for upper-division undergraduate and graduates students, applies this systematic analysis to a range of contemporary educational and social matters while remaining anchored in a critical and normative perspective. Here, Ryder (Khazar Univ., Azerbaijan) also explicates a compelling, relational educational and social philosophy that has much meaning for the present.
View on Amazon


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