Volatile Knowing: Parents, Teachers, and the Censored Story of Accountability in America's Public Schools

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Lexington Books, 2008 - Education - 209 pages
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Volatile Knowing refers to the potential for positive change that can result when parents and teachers talk with each other about the politics and policies of externally defined accountability mandates in education. This text tells the story of twelve teachers and parents who breached the unofficial but deeply inscribed home/school divide to discuss the current accountability-for-uniformity movement that has overtaken the nation's educational agenda at federal, state, and local levels. This kind of volatile knowing offers hope for progressively-minded citizens: that together, parents and teachers can ignite a new, child-centered movement for accountability and creativity in America's public schools. Volatile Knowing is based on a qualitative case study of a particular group of parents and teachers who studied and discussed information about the accountability movement that is typically censored in mainstream media coverage. The themes that emerged in this study are presented through the lens of Foucault's analysis of the workings of modern power. By making the exercise of hierarchical power visible to readers, it is hoped that Volatile Knowing will prompt an expanding conversation and ongoing study of the ways in which the people's definitional authority in their schools and society can be both lost and found.
 

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Contents

III
1
IV
11
V
21
VI
45
VII
91
VIII
125
IX
135
X
161
XI
171
XII
197
XIII
203
XIV
209
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Page 3 - Cherish, therefore, the spirit of our people, and keep alive their attention. Do not be too severe upon their errors, but reclaim them by enlightening them. If once they become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves.
Page 1 - The events which this work proposes to embrace will establish the fact that unless the mass retains sufficient control over those intrusted with the powers of their government, these will be perverted to their own oppression, and to the perpetuation of wealth and power in the individuals and their families selected for the trust.
Page 10 - ... cause" organizations (such as Common Cause, Nader groups, environmental groups). The expansion of participation thoughout society was reflected in the markedly higher levels of self-consciousness on the part of blacks, Indians, Chicanes, white ethnic groups, students, and women, all of whom became mobilized and organized in new ways to achieve what they considered to be their appropriate share of "the action

About the author (2008)

Kaia Tollefson is assistant professor of education at California State University Channel Islands.

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