1st Edition

Reclaiming Education for Democracy Thinking Beyond No Child Left Behind

By Paul Shaker, Elizabeth E. Heilman Copyright 2008
    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    256 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Reclaiming Education for Democracy subjects the prophets and doctrines of educational neoliberalism to scrutiny in order to provide a rationale and vision for public education beyond the limits of No Child Left Behind. The authors combine a history of recent education policy with an in- depth analysis of the origins of such policy and its impact on professional educators. The public face of these policies is separated from motives rooted in politics, profit, and ideology. The book also searches for new insights in understanding the neoliberal and managerialist assault on education by examining the psychology of advocates who demonstrate a special animus toward universal public education. The manipulation of public education by No Child Left Behind is a case study in the general approach to public institutions taken by the politicians and theorists in these camps. K-12 education has been subjected to deceptive descriptive analyses, marginalization of its professional leadership, manipulation of its goals, the imposition of illegitimate quality markers, a grab on its resources by corporate profiteers, and a demoralization of its rank and file. This book helps us think beyond this new commonsense of education.

    Recipient: 2009 AERA Division K Award for Exemplary Research in Teaching and Teacher Education




    Introduction, "The Changing Vision of Education in Our Democratic Society"

    Part I Mechanisms and Motivations of Education Policy

    Chapter 1, "Political Advocacy and Academic Authority: Defining Educational Inquiry and Defending Public Institutions"

    Chapter 2, "Policy as Propaganda: A Critical Examination of NCLB"

    Chapter 3, "The Cultural Psychology of the Right"

    Part II Distortions of the Advocates

    Chapter 4, "The Myth of Scientifically Based Research"

    Chapter 5, "The ‘Science’ of Teacher Testing"

    Chapter 6, "Contested Visions of Public Schooling for a Democratic Society"

    Chapter 7, "Left Back: Punditry or History?"

    Part III Agenda for Change

    Chapter 8, "A Renewed Vision of Good Teaching and Good Schools"

    Chapter 9, "Reclaiming Public Education in a Democratic Society"




    Paul Shaker is a career educator who has served as teacher, teacher educator, and dean in five of the United States, in Asia, and in Canada at Simon Fraser University of British Columbia. An alumnus of Ohio State, Shaker has reinterpreted and sought to advance the progressive legacy in public schools and higher education. His work has focused on the applications of depth psychology to education, teacher education curriculum, and policy and politics in contemporary America. Shaker served as a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Kuwait and has been recognized for his writing by AACTE.

    Elizabeth Heilman, Ph.D. Associate Professor in the Department of Teacher Education at Michigan State University has served in leadership roles in social studies and curriculum studies both nationally and at Purdue and Michigan State University. She is the author or editor of five books and more than 35 book chapters and articles. Her work explores how social and political imaginations are shaped and how various philosophies, research traditions, and educational policies influence democracy, social justice, and critical democratic and global education.