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The Social Foundations Reader

Critical Essays on Teaching, Learning and Leading in the 21st Century

Eleanor Blair and Yolanda Medina

The Social Foundations Reader is meant for undergraduate and graduate students in introductory foundations of education classes. No other contemporary reader provides such a broad and yet critical view of the issues typically addressed in an introductory foundations course. Instead, most provide a generic and typically conservative perspective on schools and classrooms and do little to encourage students to consider the important roles of critical theory and social justice in the creation of school environments that are responsive to issues of equity and diversity. This book provides a different lens through which students can view what happens in twenty-first-century schools while also considering the perspectives of multiple constituencies: parents, teachers, students and communities. The reader of this text is exposed to a wide range of scholarship in the foundations of education; essays range from the more traditional work of John Dewey to the controversial ideas of Henry Giroux. Contested topics associated with teaching, learning and leading in contemporary public schools are considered within a context where grappling with the answers to fundamental questions that will ultimately guide meaningful school reform is an essential part of becoming an educator. Each of the five sections in the book is accompanied by an introduction and summary/reflection questions to both guide reading and challenge students to think critically about how to synthesize and apply the ideas being presented.
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Contributors

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Angela Anselmo is a faculty member of the City University of New York. She received her PhD in bilingual developmental psychology from Yeshiva University. Dr. Anselmo is an ordained interfaith minister and Director of the SEEK (Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge) Program at Baruch College in New York. Her research interests include bilingualism, counseling, and spirituality. In addition to numerous articles in professional journals within the fields of sociology of language and multicultural education.

Eleanor J. Blair received her PhD from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is an associate professor at Western Carolina University where she teaches foundations of education courses in curriculum, teacher leadership and history/philosophy of education at WCU and in Jamaica through the WCU-Jamaica program. She is a frequent presenter at regional, national, and international conferences, and she is the editor of two readers: Thinking About Schools: A Foundations of Education Reader (2011) and Teacher Leadership: The “New” Foundation of Education (2011). Her work utilizes qualitative methodologies and critical pedagogical frameworks to explore teaching, learning and leading in contemporary schools. References to her research on teacher moonlighting and the significance of place in the preparation of teacher leaders in rural communities occur in both popular and professional publications.

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