Exploring Education : An Introduction to the Foundations of Education book cover
5th Edition

Exploring Education
An Introduction to the Foundations of Education

ISBN 9781138222168
Published October 5, 2017 by Routledge
606 Pages 30 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This much-anticipated fifth edition of Exploring Education offers an alternative to traditional foundations texts by combining a point-of-view analysis with primary source readings. Pre- and in-service teachers will find a solid introduction to the foundations disciplines -- history, philosophy, politics, and sociology of education -- and their application to educational issues, including school organization and teaching, curriculum and pedagogic practices, education and inequality, and school reform and improvement. This edition features substantive updates, including additions to the discussion of neo-liberal educational policy, recent debates about teacher diversity, updated data and research, and new selections of historical and contemporary readings.

At a time when foundations of education are marginalized in many teacher education programs and teacher education reform pushes scripted approaches to curriculum and instruction, Exploring Education helps teachers to think critically about the "what" and "why" behind the most pressing issues in contemporary education.


Table of Contents




1 The Limits and Promises of Education: Toward Reflective Practitioners

Educational Problems

The Achievement Gaps

The Crisis in Urban Education

The Decline of Literacy

Assessment Issues

Understanding Education: The Foundations Perspective

The History of Education

The Philosophy of Education

The Politics of Education

The Sociology of Education

The Foundations Perspective: A Multidisciplinary and Interdisciplinary Approach

Critical Literacy and Empowerment: Toward the Active Voice of Teachers

2 The Politics of Education: Conservative, Liberal, Radical, and
Neo-liberal Perspectives

The Purposes of Schooling

Political Perspectives

General Issues: Conservative, Liberal, Radical, and Neo-liberal Perspectives

Traditional and Progressive Visions of Education

The Role of the School

Explanations of Unequal Educational Performance

Definition of Educational Problems

Educational Policy and Reform

Education and the American Dream

The Neo-liberal Perspective

From Political Perspectives to the Politics of Education

Evidence Use and the Core Curriculum Standards Movement: From Problem Definition to Policy Adoption, Lorraine McDonnell and M. Stephen Weatherford

What "Counts" as Educational Policy? Notes Toward a New Paradigm, Jean Anyon

3 The History of Education

Old World and New World Education: The Colonial Era

The Age of Reform: The Rise of the Common School

Opposition to Public Education

Education for Women and African-Americans

Urbanization and the Progressive Impetus

Education for All: The Emergence of the Public High School

The Post-World War II Equity Era: 1945–1980

Cycles of Reform: Progressive and Traditional

Equality of Opportunity

Educational Reaction and Reform and the Standards Era: 1980s–2012

Understanding the History of U.S. Education: Different Historical Interpretations

The Democratic-Liberal School

The Radical-Revisionist School

Conservative Perspectives


Empowerment and Education: Civil Rights, Expert Advocates, and Parent

Politics in Head Start, 1964-1980, Josh Kagan

Capital Accumulation, Class Conflict, and Educational Change, Samuel
Bowles and Herbert Gintis

4 The Sociology of Education

The Uses of Sociology for Teachers

The Relation between School and Society

Theoretical Perspectives

Functional Theories

Conflict Theories

Interactional Theories

Effects of Schooling on Individuals

Knowledge and Attitudes


Education and Mobility

Inside the Schools

Teacher Behavior

Student Peer Groups and Alienation

Education and Inequality

Inadequate Schools


De Facto Segregation


Sociology and the Current Educational Crisis

The School Class as a Social System Some of Its Functions in

American Society, Talcott Parsons

On Understanding the Processes of Schooling: The Contributions of
Labeling Theory,
Ray C. Rist

The Politics of Culture: Understanding Local Political Resistance to
Detracking in Racially Mixed Schools,
Amy Stuart Wells and Irene Serna

5 The Philosophy of Education and Its Significance for Teachers

The Perspective of Philosophy of Education

What Is Philosophy of Education?

The Meaning of Philosophical Inquiry

Particular Philosophies of Education




Existentialism and Phenomenology


Postmodernist and Critical Theory


My Pedagogic Creed, John Dewey

Wide-Awakeness and the Moral Life, Maxine Greene

6 Schools as Organizations and Teacher Professionalization

The Structure of U.S. Education


Size and Degree of Centralization

Student Composition

Degree of "Openness"

Private Schools


International Comparisons

Great Britain






School Processes and School Cultures

Teachers, Teaching, and Professionalization

Who Becomes a Teacher?

The Nature of Teaching

Underqualified Teachers

Teacher Professionalization

Rich Land, Poor Schools: Inequality of National Educational Resources
and Achievement of Disadvantaged Students,
David Baker and Gerald LeTendre, with Brian Goesling

What Do the National Data Tell Us About Minority Teacher Shortages,

Richard Ingersoll

7 Curriculum, Pedagogy, and the Transmission of Knowledge

What Do the Schools Teach?

The History and Philosophy of the Curriculum

The Politics of the Curriculum

The Sociology of the Curriculum

Multicultural Education

Curriculum Theory and Practice: The Reconceptualization of Curriculum Studies

Pedagogic Practices: How the Curriculum is Taught

The Philosophy of Teaching: Differing Views on Pedagogic Practices

The Stratification of the Curriculum

The Effects of the Curriculum: What is Learned in Schools?


The Politics of a National Curriculum, Michael W. Apple

The Silenced Dialogue: Power and Pedagogy in Educating Other People’s
Lisa D. Delpit

8 Equality of Opportunity and Educational Outcomes

Calculating Educational and Life Outcomes




Educational Achievement and Attainment of African-American,
Hispanic-American, and Women Students

Students with Special Needs


School Differences and Educational Outcomes

The Coleman Study (1966)

The Coleman Study (1982)


School Segregation

Educational Attainment and Economic Achievement

Education and Inequality: Mobility or Reproduction?

Class and the Classroom: Even the Best Schools Can’t Close the Race
Achievement Gap,
Richard Rothstein

Fifty Years Since the Coleman Report: Rethinking the Relationship

between Schools and Inequality, Douglas B. Downey and Dennis J. Condron

A Social Constructionist Approach to Disability: Implications

for Special Education, Dimitris Anastasiou and James M. Kauffman

9 Explanations of Educational Inequality

Explanations of Unequal Educational Achievement

Student-Centered Explanations

Genetic Differences

Cultural Deprivation Theories

Cultural Difference Theories

School-Centered Explanations

School Financing

Effective School Research

Between-School Differences: Curriculum and Pedagogic Practices

Within-School Differences: Curriculum and Ability Grouping

Gender and Schooling

Do Schools Reproduce Inequality?

It’s Not "a Black Thing": Understanding the Burden of Acting White and
Other Dilemmas of High Achievement,
Karolyn Tyson, William Darity, Jr., and Domini R. Castellino

How You Bully a Girl": Sexual Drama and the Negotiation of

Gendered Sexuality in High School, Sarah A. Miller

The Rules of the Game and the Uncertain Transmission of

Advantage: Middle-class Parents’ Search for an Urban

Kindergarten, Annette Lareau, Shani Adia Evans, and April Yee

A Black Student’s Reflection on Public and Private Schools, Imani Perry

10 Educational Reform and School Improvement

Effective Teachers

Educational Reform from the 1980s to 2012

Federal Involvement in Education

Goals 2000: Building on a Decade of Reform

No Child Left Behind

Race to the Top

Approaches to Reform

School-Based Reforms

School Choice, Charter Schools, and Tuition Vouchers


Teacher Education

Teacher Quality

The Effective School Movement

Societal, Community, Economic, and Political Reforms

State Intervention and Mayoral Control in Local School Districts

School Finance Reforms

Full Service and Community Schools

Harlem Children’s Zone

Connecting School, Community, and Societal Reforms

A Theory of Educational Problems and Reforms

School Vouchers and Student Achievement: Reviewing the Research, David Trilling

A Critical Look at the Charter School Debate, Margaret E. Raymond

Ravitch-Tilson Debate, Diane Ravitch and Whitney Tilson

Appendix: Suggested Resources




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Alan R. Sadovnik is Board of Governors Distinguised Service Professor of Education, Sociology, and Public Administration and Affairs at Rutgers University-Newark, USA.

Peter W. Cookson, Jr. is a Senior Researcher at the Learning Policy Institute Palo Alto California and Washington DC, and teaches in the Sociology Department at Georgetown University, USA.

Susan F. Semel is Professor of Education at the City College of New York, USA and Professor of Urban Education at the City University of New York Graduate Center, USA.

Ryan W. Coughlan is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Guttman Community College, CUNY, USA.