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Essays on Pedagogy





ISBN 9780415454834
Published August 28, 2008 by Routledge
224 Pages

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Book Description

Seven authoritative contributions to the emerging field of pedagogy and to comparative, cultural and policy studies in education. A must for those who want to do more than merely comply with received versions of ‘best practice’.

 

Pedagogy is at last gaining the attention in English-speaking countries which it has long enjoyed elsewhere. But is it the right kind of attention? Do we still tend to equate pedagogy with teaching technique and little more? Now that governments, too, have become interested in it, is pedagogy a proper matter for public policy and official prescription?

In Essays on Pedagogy, Robin Alexander brings together some of his most powerful recent writing, drawing on research undertaken in Britain and other countries, to illustrate his view that to engage properly with pedagogy we need to apply cultural, historical and international perspectives, as well as evidence on how children most effectively learn and teachers most productively teach.

The book includes chapters on a number of themes, expertly woven together:

  • the politicisation of school and classroom life and the trend towards a pedagogy of compliance;
  • the benefits and hazards of international comparison;
  • pedagogical dichotomies old and new, and how to avoid them;
  • how education and pedagogy might respond to a world in peril;
  • the rare and special chemistry of the personal and the professional which produces outstanding teaching;
  • the scope and character of pedagogy itself, as a field of enquiry and action.

For those who see teachers as thinking professionals, rather than as technicians who merely comply with received views of ‘best practice’, this book will open minds while maintaining a practical focus. For student teachers it will provide a framework for their development. Its strong and consistent international perspective will be of interest to educational comparativists, but is also an essential response to globalisation and the predicaments now facing humanity as a whole.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction  2. Pedagogy goes East 3. Principle, pragmatism and compliance  4. Beyond dichotomous pedagogies  5. Talking, teaching, learning  6. Pedagogy for a world in peril  7. Words and Music

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Author(s)

Biography

Robin Alexander is Fellow of Wolfson College at Cambridge University, UK, Professor of Education Emeritus at Warwick University, UK, and Director of the Primary Review. His Culture and Pedagogy (2001) won the Outstanding Book Award of the American Educational Research Association.

Reviews

Professor Harry Daniels, University of Bath, UK:

This would be one of the rare books that students might well elect to buy – it would certainly be bought by staff - on all courses related to education and pedagogy

The conceptualisation of pedagogy in this book and the research base from the writing is developed is world leading

It will last for some time and should be open to a relatively straightforward second edition

Is the author a recognised authority in this field?

Most definitely

Do you recommend that we should publish this book?
YES

 

Professor Donald McIntyre, University of Cambridge, UK:

There is a real need for this book. Pedagogy is going to be one of

the central issues of educational debate in the next few years, especially

in the UK, but also in the USA. In the UK, the DfEE are themselves

promoting debate about pedagogy, as are the GTCE and also many academic

critics of the government. Furthermore, pedagogy is very much a

continental European concept and British discussion of it is likely to

bridge the gap between Anglo-American and European educational discussion

as nothing else could. Robin Alexander is undoubtedly the leading

Anglo-American thinker and writer on the subject of pedagogy and is very

highly esteemed on both sides of the Atlantic, especially since the

publication of his very important book, Culture and Pedagogy. Everything

he himself suggests about the likely sales of this proposed book is correct.

I predict sales of 50,000 in the UK, 20,000 in the USA and 20,000 elsewhere.

The book will be used, in most initial teacher education and advanced

courses, as recommended reading.

I don’t think that there are yet any real competitors for this. And, although there will be

competitors in the next few years, this book will be distinctive and

important for a long time, because of the distinctive reputation of its

author. He is the recognised authority in the field.

Without any doubt, publish this book.

Professor Andrew Pollard, Institute of Education, University of London, UK:

I’m sorry but I am a bit too pressed to do this just at the moment. 

I will say however that Robin Alexander is probably the best academic writing on pedagogy in the UK at present – and I’d snap him up whilst you have the chance!