Reviews Archive

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Re-Envisioning Higher Education

"Readers interested in engaging with ideas about higher education beyond ubiquitous contemporary neo-liberal discourses will be heartened by Jing Lin, Rebecca L. Oxford and Edward J. Brantmeier’s book Re-envisioning Higher Education. Eschewing solely “a rational, scientific, individualistic, and materialistic framework for higher education” (p. xii), this edited collection delves into the ways “we are moving into a new era of cultivating whole beings and wisdom” (p. xiii), a project less often explored in higher education literature. Explicitly challenging dominant ideologies and mainstream practices in academia, the authors collectively invite us to imagine how we may center relationality and embodiment as central components of education." Anne E. Wagner & Riyad A. Shahjahan Teachers College Record

The Duality of Women Scholars of Color

"Women of Color considering the professoriate will find this book a very practical guide with empirically supported techniques for approach, entry into, and survival in the academy. Some of the authors provided insight into the unspoken expectations of institutions of higher education. They did this by indicating that there is considerable research on barriers to retention and promotion of Women of Color, but they remained focused on what works to move over, around, and beyond those barriers." Martha E. Banks ABackans DCP, Inc. PsycCRITIQUES

Improving Employee Health and Well Being

"This newly published volume from the Stress and Quality of Working Life series contains a collection of brief, straightforward, and academically oriented chapters that successfully tackles the topic of employee health and well-being from various perspectives. Editors Rossi, Meurs, and Perrewe´ have effectively compiled independently written chapters that logically flow from the individual micro level to the social and legal macro level. Both academicians and corporate managers will gain a useful awareness of how employee health and well-being is currently studied and analyzed and how to use this information to design programs and procedures that can potentially improve the health and well-being of employees." William P. Schaefer George Mason University World Medical and Health Policy

End of Academic Freedom

"The aim of analyzing the core purpose of contemporary universities is a highly welcome one, considering that institutions of higher education today are rapidly changing and highly exposed and susceptive to shifting political regimes of governance. These pressures interfere with the institutional autonomy they have achieved to varying degrees, depending upon the different political and historical contingencies and the social contexts they are situated in. The situation calls for differentiated and comparative analytical approaches to meet the promise of the title of the book, talking about ‘the core’ purpose and ‘the coming’ of certain threats against academic freedom." Claus Emmeche University of Copenhagen Science and Education

Girls and Women in STEM

"As the story goes, if you want to teach a mule anything, first hit it in the head with a two-by-four—this will get its attention. The first half of this book, edited by Koch (Hofstra Univ.), Polnick (Sam Houston State Univ.), and Irby (Texas A&M Univ.), is about hitting readers with a metaphorical two-by-four. In report after report, contributors describe how despite decades of efforts, there are significant barriers to entry and persistence in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for women, especially women of color. Thus primed, readers are motivated to work through the second half of the book, which covers treatments that have been used with varying degrees of success. Going through this section is a fair amount of work because the writing styles of all the contributing authors are dry and academic. This book is useful for people who are thinking about taking action to help with gender balance in STEM and looking for confirmation of the extent of the problem or evidence of success for existing approaches. It is not a casual read or something directly useful for advocacy. Part of the "Research on Women and Education" series." D. J. Van Domelen Amarillo College CHOICE

Placing Practitioner Knowledge at the Center of Teacher Education

"Foregrounding practitioner expertise, as promoted by the book and the CPED consortium, would seem to be an urgent necessity in the shifting worlds of education policy, research, and practice. To do so in the course of doctoral study does not mean the EdD is inferior to the “pure research” model of the PhD in education. In fact, this text convincingly argues that practitioner knowledge is poised to transform PK-20 education more positively and profoundly than many current efforts at educational research and reform." Jenice L. View George Mason University Teachers College Record

End of Academic Freedom

"Who will benefit from reading this book? Whether psychologist or not, any academic who is concerned with the drift and shift in academic values that appears to be happening on many, if not most, campuses in the United States will want to become familiar with the work’s portents. Since it is something akin to a call to arms (or at least minds), I do not believe this is the sort of book to be read in the solitude of one’s own ivory tower or philosophical armchair. This is a book about an imperiled community as well as an imperiled “sense of community,” and how shared visions and traditions are under assault, sometimes in apparent ways and other times in more subtle but still corrosive ways that often masquerade as “necessary” choices or decisions. Colleagues who value institutional shared governance or who are constructively active in campus politics (I am thinking here of faculty senates and the like) should read this book; indeed, they should consider forming discussion groups or panel presentations.

Administrators from the top on down, from presidents and provosts to deans and department chairs should read this book if only to learn why so many of their faculty colleagues are restive and restless, if not resentful. Bowen, Schwartz, and Camp are not really telling us what we don’t already know—they are giving us a nuanced and reflective, if sometimes distressing, account of it. Trustees and regents, too, should read this book if only to try to understand the critical faculty worldview that likely puzzles or annoys them. The university was conceived to be a place apart from the worlds of commerce, government, and even private life—this feature is a key to maintaining academic freedom, and nonacademics should be aware of this fact." Dr. Dana S. Dunn Moravian College PsyCritiques

Girls and Women in STEM

"In the edited book Girls and Women in STEM: A Never Ending Story, the contributing authors convincingly argue that despite improvements in women’s participation in STEM fields, there is still much work that needs to be done. Specifically, this book highlights the importance of considering the intersectionality of gender with race, class, and language." Debra L. Oswald and Maha Baalbaki Marquette University PsycCRITIQUES

Trust and Governance Institutions

"The relationship between trust and governance institutions has attracted attention from public administration scholars in recent years (Klijn, Edelenbos, & Steijn, 2010). Over the past three decades or so, the concept of governance has become pervasive in government around the globe, inspiring a mode of government in which the public, private, and third sector work together to provide public service. Does this partnership among stakeholders from different sectors affect public trust? If so, how? What factors determine the level of trust in government as a whole? If the trust-governance link seems to be intuitive, is there empirical evidence to support it? These are legitimate questions that have not been adequately studied. In this regard, Trust and governance institutions: Asian experiences, edited by Milan Sun, Clay Wescott, and Lawrence Jones, is timely. It provides a notable contribution to the existing literature by introducing the Asian experience of the trust challenge in the era of governance." Jie Gao National University of Singapore International Review of Public Administration

Life Stories

"In summary, Life Stories provides engaging snapshots across slices of time and place through deconstructing the complex relation between historical moments and the biographical back stories of the actors who shaped educational trajectories. Biographical detail affirms the power of sociocultural forces in shaping historical narratives as we hear echoes in our own discourse and ventriloquate the voices of educators across the ages." Dr. Virginia Navarro University of Missouri-St. Louis PsycCRITIQUES

A Learner Centered Approach To Online Education

"ALearner Centered Approach to Online Education by Lisa Harrell (2013), is a short, seven-chapter book that covers the basics of online education. The purpose of the book is to act as a guide for designing and teaching online in a way that is learner focused. It is marketed for those new to online education, wanting to learn more about online education, and/or undergraduate and graduate students." Kathleen Stone Center for Distance Learning All About Mentoring

Queer Voices from the Classroom

"The greatest strength of this volume is the opportunity it presents to learn of the experiences of LGBT teachers in their own words. All of the authors responded to the editors’ call for personal narratives about their experiences as LGBT teachers. Each then wrote an essay addressing four separate prompts. The questions guided the teachers to discuss (a) their identities as queer teachers, (b) how their identities influenced their decision to become teachers, (c) significant moments regarding their lives as teachers, and (d) their hopes as queer teachers." Glenda M. Russell University of Colorado PsycCRITIQUES

Emerging Practices in International Development Evaluation

"As part of the series “Evaluation and Society,” this edited volume brings together thirteen contributors with extensive experience to share perspectives on international development evaluation. The Rockefeller Foundation provided a grant to Claremont Graduate University to convene this group of leaders in global evaluation, who were then asked to share their papers describing best practices, approaches and principles guiding evaluation work in seven outcome areas. The publication is “intended to enhance learning in development and philanthropy by advancing concepts that can guide practitioners and support understanding in international development evaluation”(p. 2)." Linda A. Pursley Lesley University Education Review

Studies and Global Perspectives of Second Language Teaching and Learning

"These papers further inquiry on language education. They also demonstrate the applicability of L2 teaching practices across languages, cultures, and regions. These studies are critical references for anyone practicing, studying or wishing to gain an overview of successful, current teaching practices in SL/FL contexts. Drawing on research, theory, and practice, each chapter explores an innovative L2 teaching approach with detailed explanations about infusing this pedagogy in the curriculum, materials and a discussion on what worked and what didn’t." Andrea Lypka University of South Florida Education Review

Religion and Spirituality

"As with all contemporary work on spirituality and religion, definitions are slippery and the editors have done well to leave the definitional aspect alone. Instead, the collection of essays offers an intuitive impression of the breadth of spiritual and religious experience that affect the pursuit of positive social outcomes. Similarly, there is a very broad definition of 'education' and essays cover formal institutional settings, creation of learning environments for personal spiritual development, and consideration of the place of education and social justice within spiritual experience and religious traditions. Overall, the collection achieves the editor's objective to “demonstrate the possibility of a healthy integration from a truly global, transdisciplinary and ecumenical perspective in education and religion” (xi)." Michelle Wade St. Mark's Theologican Centre Canberra Crucible

Why Public Schools?

"This book does an excellent job of sharing honestly the places in which the public school systems both fails and succeeds, and the tone is positive and encouraging. Why Public Schools? not only asks an important question, but seeks the answer from the people who are best quipped to answer: the public." Rachel Knoepfle University of the Pacific Education Review

Advances in Longitudinal Methods in the Social and Behavioral Sciences

"In the past 25 years or so, there have been many statistical and technological developments in analyzing longitudinal data, e.g. observations made on individuals over a period of time; this has occurred as more longitudinal data becomes available. Among the substantive concerns of different authors is growth in ability, mood change among adolescent smokers, social interactions, and intellectual development in children - each of these occurring over time. ... The authors of different papers in this edited book offer many methodological innovations that should advance the study of longitudinal data, e.g. using a mixture of linear and non-linear mixed-effect models for dealing with subpopulations among whom nonlinear change may be different." Dean H. Harper University of Rochester SB&F

Necessary Spaces

"Necessary Spaces gives the reader a glimpse into a time when African-American communities thrived, against all odds. It provides a rich history of family values, community connections, and the value of education. This history can serve as a guide for first steps towards building successful schools and viable neighborhoods. The reader is inspired to wonder, act and reflect on what worked in order to develop a plan of action, based on the possibilities provided by Saundra Murray Nettles." Rosemarie Allen Children, Youth and Environments

A Curriculum of Imagination in an Era of Standardization

"There is a hopefulness that is created when a problem, in this instance standardization, is named. It makes the problem visible and opens opportunities to engage in creative problem solving. For many people within academia, it is assumed that standardization—set curriculums, established learning outcomes, rubrics, and the process of experts transferring knowledge to novices—is simply what constitutes education. Others in academia likely feel a lack of hope that the tides will turn and that critical thinking and academic depth might again be reclaimed.

For both groups, Lake’s book and his imagined dialogues offer a tool that is useful for raising consciousness about how the current approach to education leads to dehumanization. His book should prove valuable in encouraging the consideration of alternatives and helping inspire educators to recognize the vital role that imagination plays in human advancement." Dr. Jason J. Platt Alliant International University PsycCRITIQUES

Beyond the Campus

"This is a good story of community engagement, offered with a strong theoretical framework,
making the book a useful resource for a variety of courses and shared readings among
those who promote this type of university–community alliance." Kathleen Sullivan Brown, PhD University of Missouri PsycCRITIQUES
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