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Pedagogies of Kindness and Respect

On the Lives and Education of Children

Edited By Paul L. Thomas, Paul R. Carr, Julie A. Gorlewski and Brad J. Porfilio

Pedagogies of Kindness and Respect presents a wide variety of concepts from scholars and practitioners who discuss pedagogies of kindness, an alternative to the «no excuses» ideology now dominating the way that children are raised and educated in the U.S. today. The fields of education, and especially early childhood education, include some histories and perspectives that treat those who are younger with kindness and respect. This book demonstrates an informed awareness of this history and the ways that old and new ideas can counter current conditions that are harmful to both those who are younger and those who are older, while avoiding the reconstitution of the romantic, innocent child who needs to be saved by more advanced adults. Two interpretations of the upbringing of children are investigated and challenged, one suggesting that the poor do not know how to raise their children and thus need help, while the other looks at those who are privileged and therefore know how to nurture their young. These opposing views have been discussed and problematized for more than thirty years. Pedagogies of Kindness and Respect investigates the issue of why this circumstance has continued and even worsened today.

«In a bloodless policy world in which kindergarten students are being forced into college and career readiness, this volume on care as a fundamental aspect of educational practice is most welcome. I hope that this book gains a wide readership of concerned educators who believe that teaching and learning are, at their heart, built around relationships that lead to trust and support. My thanks to the editors and contributors for bringing this timely set of papers to our profession, in hopes that kids get the nurturing support that they need to become caring members of the communities that they enter in life.»
(Peter Smagorinsky, Distinguished Research Professor of English Education, Department of Language and Literacy Education, The University of Georgia)

«It can be easy to forget, both in education systems built on capitalistic notions of competition and conformity, and in communities of clenched-fisted critical educators, that compassion and kindness are, themselves, inherently revolutionary. I experienced Pedagogies of Kindness and Respect as a sort of tonic of counter-hegemony. The authors – scholars, educators, activists – offered me a theory-grounded hope against neoliberalism’s soul-crushing hold on public education. But equally important, they offered me a transformative vision for educational justice that is rooted in a solidarity that only can be built on critical humanism. I emerged deeply informed and spiritually nourished.»
(Paul C. Gorski, Associate Professor, New Century College)

«In a bloodless policy world in which kindergarten students are being forced into college and career readiness, this volume on care as a fundamental aspect of educational practice is most welcome. I hope that this book gains a wide readership of concerned educators who believe that teaching and learning are, at their heart, built around relationships that lead to trust and support. My thanks to the editors and contributors for bringing this timely set of papers to our profession, in hopes that kids get the nurturing support that they need to become caring members of the communities that they enter in life.»
(Peter Smagorinsky, Distinguished Research Professor of English Education, Department of Language and Literacy Education, The University of Georgia)

«It can be easy to forget, both in education systems built on capitalistic notions of competition and conformity, and in communities of clenched-fisted critical educators, that compassion and kindness are, themselves, inherently revolutionary. I experienced Pedagogies of Kindness and Respect as a sort of tonic of counter-hegemony. The authors – scholars, educators, activists – offered me a theory-grounded hope against neoliberalism’s soul-crushing hold on public education. But equally important, they offered me a transformative vision for educational justice that is rooted in a solidarity that only can be built on critical humanism. I emerged deeply informed and spiritually nourished.»
(Paul C. Gorski, Associate Professor, New Century College)