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Edited by Joseph L. DeVitis

The last half century has created deep tensions in how we analyze educational and social change. Educators, policymakers, and concerned citizens have had to cope with competing belief systems in evaluating and acting upon school policies and practices. This illuminating book untangles many of the roots of those persistent debates that have divided the nation for so long. It offers readers a critical opportunity to reflect on our continuing ideological struggles by examining popular books that have made a difference in educational discourse.
The editor has specifically selected key books on social and educational controversies that speak to wide audiences. They frame contextual issues that so-called «school reformers» have often neglected – much to the detriment of any real educational progress. Ultimately, this text is meant to stir our consciences, to disorder our certainties, and to compel us to treat education and culture with both reason and passion. It is highly relevant for courses in social foundations of education, school reform, educational policy studies, philosophy of education, history of education, politics of education, curriculum studies, and teacher education.
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Making College Better

Views from the Top

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Edited by Joseph L. DeVitis

Today’s colleges and universities are facing mounting criticism from both internal and external interest groups and constituencies. While strident calls for reform accelerate, resources for higher education have weakened. Thus, demands to improve college education abound amidst hard times. This timely book, Making College Better: Views from the Top, offers more rational and practical responses to that public outcry by allowing college presidents and chancellors from a wide variety of postsecondary institutions the opportunity to address, in measured ways, many complex issues and how they might be untangled. Moreover, these academic leaders provide possible remedies to make college better through more strategic policies and practices.

Making College Better will appeal to all those interested in the future of higher education, including students, college administrators and other higher education personnel, parents, legislators and other officials, and public and private sector leaders. It is especially useful for courses in the organization and administration of higher education, the college presidency, contemporary issues in higher education, foundations of higher education, higher education and society, and college student development.

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Joseph L. DeVitis

This book has received the AESA (American Educational Studies Association) Critics Choice Award 2013.
Do we live in a democracy? Have we ever practiced democratic education? Will our children and grandchildren inherit a sane or sick society and political order? Those are some of the profound questions that this book tackles, within a broad and evocative conversation on civic literacy in America. Amid calls for academic standardization and high-stakes testing, civic education, once a cornerstone of public schools, has been relegated to a tertiary space. The eloquent voices in this text articulate critical perspectives on citizenship education because they realize the future of our commonwealth may well be at stake.
This important and timely book is a must-read for those interested in civics, social studies, social education, social foundations of education, and educational policy studies. Yet it will also appeal more generally to all educators and education professionals, policymakers, and public officials: it is written for all those who want to revive more humane possibilities for a polity in peril.
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Women, Culture and Morality

Selected Essays

Joseph L. DeVitis

This richly interdisciplinary collection of essays introduces a new wealth of feminist thought on wide-ranging intellectual, cultural and social issues. Its integration of recent seminal work in moral development and education awakens fresh ways of perceiving, interpreting and analyzing the traditional «old world» inhabited by the humanities and social sciences. As a result, the reader is challenged to investigate and re-evaluate long «approved» and «established» maps of history, philosophy, psychology and sociology. It is hoped that through a synthesis of these new learnings, a more profoundly habitable world for both women and men may emerge.
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Joseph L. DeVitis

Mark Van Doren, the noted literary scholar, once remarked, «The college is meaningless without a curriculum, but it is more so when it has one that is meaningless.» Many current critics of undergraduate curricula in America assent to the crucial need for programmatic renewal in our colleges and universities. They bemoan the cookie-cutter sameness in far too many of them. The oddity is that U.S. colleges have long touted their «diversity» while largely holding fast to rather traditional pathways. This illuminating volume goes beyond formulaic nuts-and-bolts recipes for constructing curriculum: it seeks to interpret and analyze the contemporary landscape of college curriculum. Yet it also hopes to heighten pedagogic horizons in more imaginative, innovative ways by presenting actual curricula from more distinctive academic offerings. This book will stimulate vitally needed «out-of-the-box» thinking about curricula among faculty, administrators, and students, and ultimately invite the emergence of more radically diverse visions and realities for today’s college curriculum.
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Joseph L. DeVitis

Today’s colleges and universities face countless uncharted challenges and possibilities. They are often prized as national treasures, yet, in tough economic times, they are becoming a major focus of contestation and controversy. This richly comprehensive survey takes a frank look at both polarities of the puzzles of academe. Presenting multiple perspectives on a wide array of crucial issues, the book features realistic representations of students, faculty, curriculum, administration, and the socio-cultural conditions that shape higher education. The incisive essays are written by practitioners on the front lines of the academy’s battle to validate and sustain its core principles in a complex, rapidly evolving world. They afford valuable insights into the postsecondary scene for all who seek to nurture its development in these uncertain, troubled times. The text will appeal to students, faculty, administrators, student life professionals, and policymakers who shape human potential. In the end it will leave them with sobering thoughts about the present and future of higher education, an institution that still warrants their constant care and vigilance.
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Edited by Joseph L. DeVitis and Linda Irwin-DeVitis

"As schools struggle to redefine and restructure themselves, they need to be aware of the new realities of adolescents. This series is committed to depicting the wide variety of adolescent cultures that exist in today’s troubled world. It is primarily a qualitative research, practice, and policy series devoted to contextual interpretation and analysis that encompasses a broad range of interdisciplinary critique. The series addresses such issues as curriculum theory and practice; multicultural education; adolescent literacy; aggression, bullying, and violence; media and the arts; school dropouts; homeless and runaway youth; gangs and other alienated youth; at-risk populations; peers, family structures, and parental involvement; identity formation; race, ethnicity, class, and gender/LGBTQ studies; and overall social, biological, psychological, and spiritual development. "
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Joseph L. DeVitis and Linda Irwin-DeVitis

Written by a prominent array of scholars and practitioners, this book elucidates the complexities, contradictions, and confusion surrounding adolescence in American culture and education. For too long, harmful public myths and lies have portrayed teenagers as a principal cause of our nation’s social ills. Similar unfair charges have been lodged against America’s teachers and schools throughout our history. This book offers public counterpoints to those simplistic blaming-the-victim arguments. Instead, it traverses a more nuanced and realistic path toward uncovering the developmental, socio-cultural realities faced by today’s teenagers. It also provides rich pedagogical strategies, and educational wisdom for allowing adolescents to grow as worthy human beings. This important and timely book will appeal to preservice teachers, teacher educators, education and social service professionals, policymakers, and all those interested in bettering the lives of adolescents in this uncertain world.
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Joseph L. DeVitis and Tianlong Yu

This book has received the AESA (American Educational Studies Association) Critics Choice Award 2012.
Against a formidable national discourse that emphasizes academic standardization, accountability, and high-stakes testing in educational policy, Character and Moral Education: A Reader seeks to re-introduce and revive the moral mission of education in public conversation and practices in America’s schools. With contributions from a prominent array of scholars and practitioners, the book critically analyzes moral education, broadly defined as both an academic field that attempts to develop moral human beings, and as a principled discourse aimed at creating ethical educational policies and practices.
With theoretical rigor and practical wisdom, this volume offers diverse and cutting-edge scholarship on character and moral education in 21st-century schools. This timely and important book will appeal to all those concerned with both the ethical well-being of today’s students, and the school’s responsibility to prepare individuals to lead moral lives in the future.
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School Reform Critics

The Struggle for Democratic Schooling

Joseph L. DeVitis and Kenneth Teitelbaum

Much of school reform during the past decade has been influenced by neoliberal and neoconservative economic and social policies and Rightist politics. Although the authors of School Reform Critics do not abandon their own ideas about the need for progressive changes in K–12 schooling, they critique in specific ways the current so-called school reform movement, focusing on education in a democracy, context and policy implications, teachers and teacher education, and diversity and social justice. Their insightful chapters make a major contribution to our thoughtful consideration of where we are headed and in what direction we should be going if we seek to advance the public good, ensure a stronger democracy, and create more academically meaningful and equitable schools for all children. The book will especially engage readers in such courses as foundations of education, educational policy, curriculum studies, and teacher education.