Achieving Against The Odds
edited by Esther Kingston-Mann and Tim Sieber Temple University Press, 2001 Library of Congress LC3727.A34 2001 | Dewey Decimal 378.19829
"High school was like a penance imposed for some unknown sin. Everything I ever learned that was important was learned outside of school. So I never thought to associate schools with learning." (Amy, UMass Boston student)
Today's diverse and financially burdened students enter higher education eager to succeed at institutions originally designed for culturally homogenous and predominantly white middle-class populations. They are expected to learn from faculty trained primarily as researchers. Unsurprisingly, student dropout and faculty burnout rates are high, leading some conservatives to demand that higher education purge itself of "unqualified" students and teachers. But, as Achieving Against the Odds demonstrates, new and better solutions emerge once we assume that both faculty and students still possess a mutual potential for learning when they meet in the college classroom.
This collection -- drawing on the experiences of faculty at the University of Massachusetts-Boston -- documents a complex and challenging process of pedagogical transformation. The contributors come from a wide range of disciplines -- American studies, anthropology, Asian American studies, English, ESL, history, language, political science, psychology, sociology, and theology. Like their students, they bring a variety of backgrounds into the classroom -- as people of color, women, gays, working class people, and "foreigners" of one sort or another. Together they have engaged in an exciting struggle to devise pedagogies which respond to the needs and life experiences of their students and to draw each of them into a dialogue with the content and methodology of their disciplines. Courageously airing their own mistakes and weaknesses alongside their breakthroughs, they illuminate for the reader a process of teaching transformation by which discipline-trained scholars discover how to promote the learning of diverse students.
As one reads their essays, one is struck by how much these faculty have benefited from the insights they have gleaned from colleagues as well as students. Through argument and examples, personal revelation and references as well as students. Through argument and examples, personal revelation and references to authority, they draw the reader into their community. This is a book to inspire and enlighten everyone interested in making higher education more truly democratic, inclusive and intellectually challenging for today's students.
Americans agree that education needs reforming in this country--but after that, agreement ceases. The forces of diversity square off against those pushing cultural unity. The call for a national curriculum clashes with a call to decentralize school authority. This book brings a measured voice and fresh perspective to the educational maelstrom. Considering the debate from the perspective of constitutional law, Toni Marie Massaro offers a remarkably fair and lucid account of both sides, of their historical antagonism, and of what is at stake in the contest over the soul of America's schools. At the same time, she moves to break through the current impasse by offering the first principles of a curriculum mindful of all concerns. Constitutional Literacy plumbs the most powerful arguments for and against national standards to reveal that these curricular battles reflect a broader, culture-wrenching struggle over whether official recognition of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or other differences causes more hostility and divisiveness than tolerance. Central to both conflicts is the tension between our desire for a shared national culture--the melting pot ideal--and our fervent belief in our right to dissent. Thus, Massaro shows, the American constitutional commitment to equality, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion is intensely relevant to the curriculum controversy. Constitutional history and practice reveal a crucial paradox: What binds Americans is their common faith in the right to break away from cultural consensus. As such, a call to a national curriculum is inherently a call to conflict and dissent. Constitutional principles, past education reform efforts, multicultural critiques of American education, modern studies of students' knowledge of American history and government, and ten years of experience teaching law all come into play in Massaro's analysis, and she concludes that shoring up our store of shared knowledge is a proper national objective. But this common store, she insists, must reflect our cultural and ideological differences lest it distort the reality of American life, past and present. Massaro thus proposes that constitutional principles form the basis of a core curriculum for a multicultural nation. In a debate often characterized by polemics and polls, this eloquent book presses for a different, more nuanced and responsive public vocabulary about race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and religion. Constitutional literacy, as Massaro defines it here, may be a necessary first step toward this goal.
On the surface, postcolonial studies and composition studies appear to have little in common. However, they share a strikingly similar goal: to provide power to the words and actions of those who have been marginalized or oppressed. Postcolonial studies accomplishes this goal by opening a space for the voices of “others” in traditional views of history and literature. Composition studies strives to empower students by providing equal access to higher education and validation for their writing.
For two fields that have so much in common, very little dialogue exists between them. Crossing Borderlands attempts to establish such an exchange in the hopes of creating a productive “borderland” where they can work together to realize common goals.
In the diversity of their clients as well as their professional and student staff, writing centers present a complicated set of relationships that inevitably affect the instruction they offer. In Facing the Center, Harry Denny unpacks the identity matrices that enrich teachable moments, and he explores the pedagogical dynamics and implications of identity within the writing center.
The face of the writing center, be it mainstream or marginal, majority or miority, orthodox or subversive, always has implications for teaching and learning. Facing the Center will extend current research in writing center theory to bring it in touch with theories now common in cultural studies curricula. Denny takes up issues of power, agency, language, and meaning, and pushes his readers to ask how they themselves, or the centers in which they work, might be perpetuating cultures that undermine inclusive, progressive education.
Gwendolyn Calvert Baker has had an extraordinary career and has witnessed a dramatic change in the ways that U.S. schools provide education to and about our multiethnic, multicultural society. But Baker hasn’t just lived through the progression of multicultural considerations—she has been singularly instrumental in the creation and acceptance of multicultural education. In Hot Fudge Sundae in a White Paper Cup, she shares her memories and experience of a lifetime spent serving and leading the causes for multicultural education.
"For students of race and culture, this book contains vital information and analysis on the origins
of a multicultural society. . . . Lindsey shows the complicated way that one black institution,
while still under white control, devised to manage the education and socialization of African and
Native American students, not for their needs but in the interests of the broader Anglo-American
society." -- American Historical Review
Lives in Two Languages explores identity and multiculturalism through readings that aim to help teachers-in-training gain better insight into their students' lives.
Lives in Two Languages focuses on the experience of multicultural authors--like Richard Rodriguez, Amy Tan, Eva Hoffman, Chang-rae Lee, and Julia Alvarez--whose experiences can be related to anyone who has moved from one culture or subculture to another. As such, this text is an excellent comprehensive introduction to the multicultural experience for teachers and educators in all disciplines, as well as of interest to anyone interested in language culture and psychological process of identity.
The classics of Western culture are out, not being taught, replaced by second-rate and Third World texts. White males are a victimized minority on campuses across the country, thanks to affirmative action. Speech codes have silenced anyone who won’t toe the liberal line. Feminists, wielding their brand of sexual correctness, have taken over. These are among the prevalent myths about higher education that John K. Wilson explodes. The phrase "political correctness" is on everyone’s lips, on radio and television, and in newspapers and magazines. The phenomenon itself, however, has been deceptively described. Wilson steps into the nation’s favorite cultural fray to reveal that many of the most widely publicized anecdotes about PC are in fact more myth than reality. Based on his own experience as a student and in-depth research, he shows what’s really going on beneath the hysteria and alarmism about political correctness and finds that the most disturbing examples of thought policing on campus have come from the right. The image of the college campus as a gulag of left-wing totalitarianism is false, argues Wilson, created largely through the exaggeration of deceptive stories by conservatives who hypocritically seek to silence their political opponents. Many of today’s most controversial topics are here: multiculturalism, reverse discrimination, speech codes, date rape, and sexual harassment. So are the well-recognized protagonists in the debate: Dinesh D’Souza, William Bennett, and Lynne Cheney, among others. In lively fashion and in meticulous detail, Wilson compares fact to fiction and lays one myth after another to rest, revealing the double standard that allows "conservative correctness" on college campuses to go unchallenged.
In The Power of Dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians, scholar and activist Nava Sonnenschein shares a collection of twenty-five powerful interviews she conducted with Palestinian and Jewish Israeli alumni of peacebuilding courses, a decade after their graduation. Participants with diverse personal and professional backgrounds completed a series of conflict transformation workshops using the model developed by the School for Peace at the world’s only intentional Jewish-Palestinian community, Neve Shalom-Wahat al-Salam (“Oasis of Peace” in Hebrew and Arabic). Critically, the interviews vividly demonstrate that peacebuilding does not end with the courses. Most of the graduates choose to work professionally in roles that contribute to peace-building. Sonnenschein shows the transformational potential of encounter between members of groups in conflict, sharing how ordinary Israelis and Palestinians coming together in an open and honest environment undergo life-changing experiences that provide concrete hope for a sustainable path to a peaceful shared existence as equals in Israel and Palestine.
Getting in is only half the battle. The struggles of less privileged students continue long after they’ve arrived on campus. Anthony Jack reveals how—and why—admission to elite schools does not mean acceptance for disadvantaged students, and he explains what schools can do differently to help the privileged poor thrive.
In Rethinking Racism: Emotion, Persuasion, and Literacy Education in an All-White High School, Jennifer Seibel Trainor proposes a new understanding of the roots of racism, one that is based on attention to the role of emotion and the dynamics of persuasion. This one-year ethnographic study argues against previous assumptions about racism, demonstrating instead how rhetoric and emotion, as well as the processes and culture of schools, are involved in the formation of racist beliefs.
Telling the story of a year spent in an all-white high school, Trainor suggests that contrary to prevailing opinion, racism often does not stem from ignorance, a lack of exposure to other cultures, or the desire to protect white privilege. Rather, the causes of racism are frequently found in the realms of emotion and language, as opposed to rational calculations of privilege or political ideologies. Trainor maintains that racist assertions often originate not from prejudiced attitudes or beliefs but from metaphorical connections between racist ideas and nonracist values. These values are reinforced, even promoted by schooling via "emotioned rules" in place in classrooms: in tacit, unexamined lessons, rituals, and practices that exert a powerful—though largely unacknowledged—persuasive force on student feelings and beliefs about race.
Through in-depth analysis of established anti-racist pedagogies, student behavior, and racial discourses, Trainor illustrates the manner in which racist ideas are subtly upheld through social and literacy education in the classroom—and are thus embedded in the infrastructures of schools themselves. It is the emotional and rhetorical framework of the classroom that lends racism its compelling power in the minds of students, even as teachers endeavor to address the issue of cultural discrimination. This effort is continually hindered by an incomplete understanding of the function of emotions in relation to antiracist persuasion and cannot be remedied until the root of the problem is addressed.
Rethinking Racism calls for a fresh approach to understanding racism and its causes, offering crucial insight into the formative role of schooling in the perpetuation of discriminatory beliefs. In addition, this highly readable narrative draws from white students' own stories about the meanings of race in their learning and their lives. It thus provides new ways of thinking about how researchers and teachers rep- resent whiteness. Blending narrative with more traditional forms of ethnographic analysis, Rethinking Racism uncovers the ways in which constructions of racism originate in literacy research and in our classrooms—and how these constructions themselves can limit the rhetorical positions students enact.
Extending the feminist rhetorical project to define and model rhetorical listening
Long-ignored within rhetoric and composition studies, listening has returned to the disciplinary radar. Rhetorical Listening: Identification, Gender, Whiteness argues that rhetorical listening facilitates conscious identifications needed for cross-cultural communication.
Krista Ratcliffe establishes eavesdropping, listening metonymically, and listening pedagogically as approaches to rhetorical listening. She defines and models rhetorical listening, addressing identifications with gender and whiteness within public debates, scholarship, and pedagogy. Offering an approach grounded in classical rhetorical theory, Heideggerian theory, feminist theory, and critical race theory, Ratcliffe presents rhetorical listening as an invention tactic that engages spoken and written texts and supplements reading, writing, speaking, and silence as a rhetorical art.
Theorizing intersections of gender and whiteness, Rhetorical Listening examines how whiteness functions as an "invisible" racial category and provides disciplinary and cultural reasons for the displacement of listening and for the use of rhetorical listening as a code of cross-cultural conduct. Ratcliffe presents rhetorical listening in terms of cultural logics, stances, and dominant interpretive tropes. She highlights the modern identification theory of Kenneth Burke and the postmodern identification and disidentification theory of Diana Fuss and presents nonidentification as a more productive site for rhetorical listening.
For the past five years, American public schools have enrolled more students identified as Black, Latinx, American Indian, and Asian than white. At the same time, more than half of US school children now qualify for federally subsidized meals, a marker of poverty. The makeup of schools is rapidly changing, and many districts and school boards are at a loss as to how they can effectively and equitably handle these shifts. Suddenly Diverse is an ethnographic account of two school districts in the Midwest responding to rapidly changing demographics at their schools. It is based on observations and in-depth interviews with school board members and superintendents, as well as staff, community members, and other stakeholders in each district: one serving “Lakeside,” a predominately working class, conservative community and the other serving “Fairview,” a more affluent, liberal community. Erica O. Turner looks at district leaders’ adoption of business-inspired policy tools and the ultimate successes and failures of such responses. Turner’s findings demonstrate that, despite their intentions to promote “diversity” or eliminate “achievement gaps,” district leaders adopted policies and practices that ultimately perpetuated existing inequalities and advanced new forms of racism.
While suggesting some ways forward, Suddenly Diverse shows that, without changes to these managerial policies and practices and larger transformations to the whole system, even district leaders’ best efforts will continue to undermine the promise of educational equity and the realization of more robust public schools.
Teaching about race and racism can be a difficult business. Students and instructors alike often struggle with strong emotions, and many people have robust preexisting beliefs about race. At the same time, this is a moment that demands a clear understanding of racism. It is important for students to learn how we got here and how racism is more than just individual acts of meanness. Students also need to understand that colorblindness is not an effective anti-racism strategy.
In this book, Cyndi Kernahan argues that you can be honest and unflinching in your teaching about racism while also providing a compassionate learning environment that allows for mistakes and avoids shaming students. She provides evidence for how learning works with respect to race and racism along with practical teaching strategies rooted in that evidence to help instructors feel more confident. She also differentiates between how white students and students of color are likely to experience the classroom, helping instructors provide a more effective learning experience for all students.
This volume was born to address the lack of classroom-oriented scholarship regarding U.S.-educated multilingual writers. Unlike prior volumes about U.S.-educated multilinguals, this book focuses solely on pedagogy--from classroom activities and writing assignments to course curricula and pedagogical support programs outside the immediate classroom. Unlike many pedagogical volumes that are written in the voice of an expert researcher-theorist, this volume is based on the notion of teachers sharing practices with teachers.
All of the contributors are teachers who are writing about and reflecting on their own experiences and outcomes and interweaving those experiences and outcomes with current theory and research in the field. The volume thus portrays teachers as active, reflective participants engaged in critical inquiry. Contributors represent community college, college, and university contexts; academic ESL, developmental writing, and first-year composition classes; and face-to-face, hybrid, and online contexts.
This book was developed primarily to meet the needs of practicing writing teachers in college-level ESL, basic writing, and college composition classrooms, but will also be useful to pre-service teachers in TESOL, Composition, and Education graduate programs.
Ever since Horace Mann promoted state supported schooling in the 1850s, the aims of U.S. public education have been the subject of heated national debate. Whose Goals? Whose Aspirations? joins this debate by exploring clashing educational aims in a discipline-based university classroom and the consequences of these clashes for "underprepared" writers.
In this close-up look at a White middle-class teacher and his ethnically diverse students, Fishman and McCarthy examine not only the role of Standard English in college writing instruction but also the underlying and highly charged issues of multiculturalism, race cognizance, and social class.