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Reimagining the Public Intellectual in Education

Making Scholarship Matter

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Edited By Cynthia Gerstl-Pepin and Cynthia Reyes

While the term «public intellectual» has been used to describe scholars who seek to share their re-search with the public, little work has been done to examine the role of a public intellectual in the field of education. This book builds upon the notion of the public intellectual in a way that makes the term more accessible, using it to refer to education scholars who seek to share their research outside of academia. Media coverage of educational issues is rife with self-appointed experts on education who have claimed space in public discussions to define educational problems and dominate public dialogues on education. But where are the education researchers in these academic dialogues? This book addresses their absence, sharing the stories of scholars who are seeking to enter public dialogues and reclaim space for reasoned dialogue on education. The stories of public scholars highlighted here acknowledge that the policymaking arena is teeming with value conflicts that can lead to dismissing or ignoring research if it does not fit with political agendas.

«In this important new book Cynthia Gerstl-Pepin and Cynthia Reyes make a clear and compelling case for socially and politically engaged scholarship that moves beyond the tidy boundaries of academia to confront critical issues related to equity and justice. At a time when inequality is growing and policymakers are more paralyzed than ever in devising solutions to the pressing problems that plague our society, such scholarship is needed now more than ever. For scholars who are more concerned about making a difference than protecting their jobs, this book will be an inspiration.» (Pedro A. Noguera, Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education and Executive Director, Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools, New York University)
«The lament of the academic is over! Gerstl-Pepin and Reyes have pushed us beyond critique and into new forms of engagement with this book. The chapters inspire me and all intellectuals to be citizens first. Knowledge in this is a tool of participation in civic life.» (George W. Noblit, Joseph R. Neikirk Distinguished Professor of Sociology of Education, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
«... Along with the authors in the book, Gerstl-Pepin and Reyes urge academics to step out of their comfort zone, away from their intellectual jargon and contribute to the issues facing society, especially those in the realm of education. Their book not only gives an intellectual rationale for this approach but it contains many examples of how to make research relevant. Given the messy situation that public education in the United States finds itself in, this book is much-needed and vital.» (Marybeth Gasman, Professor of Higher Education and Director, Penn Center for Minority-Serving Institutions, University of Pennsylvania)

«In this important new book Cynthia Gerstl-Pepin and Cynthia Reyes make a clear and compelling case for socially and politically engaged scholarship that moves beyond the tidy boundaries of academia to confront critical issues related to equity and justice. At a time when inequality is growing and policymakers are more paralyzed than ever in devising solutions to the pressing problems that plague our society, such scholarship is needed now more than ever. For scholars who are more concerned about making a difference than protecting their jobs, this book will be an inspiration.» (Pedro A. Noguera, Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education and Executive Director, Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools, New York University)
«The lament of the academic is over! Gerstl-Pepin and Reyes have pushed us beyond critique and into new forms of engagement with this book. The chapters inspire me and all intellectuals to be citizens first. Knowledge in this is a tool of participation in civic life.» (George W. Noblit, Joseph R. Neikirk Distinguished Professor of Sociology of Education, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
«... Along with the authors in the book, Gerstl-Pepin and Reyes urge academics to step out of their comfort zone, away from their intellectual jargon and contribute to the issues facing society, especially those in the realm of education. Their book not only gives an intellectual rationale for this approach but it contains many examples of how to make research relevant. Given the messy situation that public education in the United States finds itself in, this book is much-needed and vital.» (Marybeth Gasman, Professor of Higher Education and Director, Penn Center for Minority-Serving Institutions, University of Pennsylvania)