Critical Issues in Education is designed to be used in courses that examine current, relevant pro and con disputes about schools and schooling. By exploring the major opposing viewpoints on these issues, the text encourages education students to think critically and develop their own viewpoints. The clear writing and dramatic dialectic approach are conducive to dynamic classroom discussions that help students grasp the many sides of these complex issues. Three integrating themes provide a solid framework for examining the eighteen topics covered. Each part begins with a chapter-length introduction that provides background material and organizing themes for the issues that follow. Each issue is then presented from two divergent viewpoints, each one written in advocate language to be as compelling as possible. The book's objective, in addition to informing the reader about the issues, is to develop critical thinking skills within the context of education.
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The fourth edition includes updated research and scholarship and updated bibliographic references.
Three new chapters explore the pros and cons of 'Beginning Reading - Is there one best approach to literacy?', 'Gender - Should gender differences affect schools and schooling?', and 'Mainstreaming and Inclusion - How should we provide for students with special needs?'.
Comprehensive and Flexible -Balanced, pro-and-con coverage is given to the most hotly debated issues in education today. The modest price permits it to be used either as a core text in issue-oriented courses or as a supplement in courses devoted partly to issues.
Integrating Themes -Each of the book's major parts begins with a chapter-length introduction that provides background information and introduces a theme that ties the issues together.
Critical Thinking Skills -Each of the book's issues chapters presents two convincingly argued, alternative positions on a particular issue. The idea is not only to inform the reader about the issues but, through the debate format, force the reader to weigh the arguments, seek additional information, and come up with his or her own position.
Organizing Framework -The issues have been arranged in a macro-to-micro scheme. They move from a consideration of the overall purposes of schooling to the curriculum, teaching, and evaluation considerations that flow out of those purposes.
Jack L. Nelson a professor of education at Rutgers, obtained his doctorate from the University of Southern California.
Stuart B. Palonsky is professor of education and director of the Honors College at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
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