Engaging in Social Partnerships helps practitioners advance democratic engagement by creating spaces where institutions of higher education, community groups, and other organizations can come together. This important book prepares higher education professionals to become reflective practitioners while working in collaborations that span not only the boundaries of organizations, but also borders created by the social divides of class, race, ethnicity, culture, professional expertise, and power. Through illustrative cases, Keith explores effective models of democratic engagement for university-community partnerships, as well as approaches to overcoming obstacles and assessing process and outcome. Current and future professionals in higher education will find this a valuable resource as they explore the power of engaging in collaborations that cross social divides, while enacting practices that are more equitable and democratic.
Many accounts of critical pedagogy, particularly accounts of trying to enact it within higher education (HE), express a deep cynicism about whether it is possible to counter the ever creeping hegemony of neo-liberalism, neo- conservatism and new managerialism within Universities. Hopeful Pedagogies in Higher Education acknowledges some of these criticisms, but attempts to rescue critical pedagogy, locating some of its associated pessimism as misreading of Freire and offering hopeful avenues for new theory and practice. These misreadings are also located in the present, in the assumption that unless change comes within the lifetime of the project, it has somehow failed. Instead, this book argues that a positive utopianism is possible. Present actions need to be celebrated, and cultivated as symbols of hope, possibility and generativity for the future - which the concept of hope implies. The contributors make the case for celebrating the pedagogies of HE that operate in liminal spaces – situated in the spaces between the present and the future (between the world as it is and the world as it could be) and also in the cracks that are beginning to show in the dominant discourses.
'Showing how critical thinking and local democracy can be a spur to very real educational development within schools that are facing severe challenges, this book provides us with one very valuable contemporary resource of hope.' Ian Menter, Professor of Teacher Education, University of Oxford, UK Teachers and Academic Partners in Urban Schools identifies and addresses a major problem for practitioners – teachers, student teachers and teacher educators – working in urban schools burdened by highly restrictive teaching methods and pressures to meet unrealistic benchmarks set by government. In this book, Lori Beckett investigates how to negotiate these tensions and challenges and offers an account of how to elevate practitioners’ professional voice on quality teaching along more democratic lines. The book addresses key issues for teachers in urban schools, such as: fractures in teachers’ professional communities; impacts of imposed marketizing policies and forced performative practices on schools; the complexities of teaching and teachers’ concerns about practice, as well as teaching practitioners’ perception of educational/schools policy. Both academic and teacher partners contribute to the work, showcasing the ways they have engaged with each other in joint work and with local government. Through this, the book supports a professional and politicized dialogue about teaching and teacher education, offering a meaningful account of how to fashion a form of educative schooling for students and families with complex needs. Written by a dynamic and experienced author, this book brings Beckett’s experience to bear on a controversial and complex area – addressing the general trend towards increased regulatory policy in education. It is an essential read for anyone interested in a rich analysis of how practitioners can work to reassert their professional voice and regain control of schools and teacher education, and will also appeal to those interested in the larger project of restoring school democracy.
It is essential that we work together to craft powerful parent-teacher partnerships that meet the needs of today’s students and schools. In this important new book, authors Robert Dillon and Melissa Nixon explain how schools and families can work together so that the needs of children are always met. Whether you’re a parent hoping to work more effectively with your child’s teacher, or a principal or teacher looking for ways to understand families’ needs, you’ll be able to use the strategies in this resource to improve your communication and build deeper connections. Loaded with practical takeaways and sample stories, this book will help you: Clearly communicate a child’s educational goals; Make connections with other schools and school districts to build community and broaden your range of resources; Hold educators accountable without alienating them; Develop communication strategies to address difficult topics like underperformance and misbehavior; Show compassion and gratitude; And more! With the practical suggestions in this book, you’ll be able to rekindle more engagement and excitement into students' learning at school and at home.