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Medium 9781475819243

Book Review

R&L Education ePub

(Portland, Maine: Stenhouse, 2006) 244 pages, $18.00

LUCY MULE

In her foreword, Sonia Nieto writes,

Black Ants and Buddhists describes a teacher’s dedication to forging and nurturing a caring environment where children learn to become socially responsible and critical. While it is a book about creating community and hope in a first- and second-grade classroom, this powerful book is mostly about real children coming to consciousness about the world around them and taking steps, to paraphrase Paulo Freire, to learn to read both the word and their world. (p. viii)

Drawing largely on the ideas from the critical pedagogy perspective espoused by such theorists as Paulo Freire and Sonia Nieto, Black Ants and Buddhists is filled with stories of how to translate critical pedagogy theory into everyday classroom acts. Mary Cowhey writes,

I am talking about thinking critically and learning to learn, learning to use basic skills like reading, writing, solving mathematical problems, analyzing data, public speaking, scientific observation, and inquiry as an active citizen in your community. . . . I believe theory emerges from the practice, and that the very best teaching merges theory, practice and reflection. (p. 18)

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Medium 9781442267756

Considering the Alternatives: Documenting Alternative Arts Organizations, Hallwalls, and Beyond

Collections; Juilee Decker AltaMira Press ePub

Karen Walton Morse

Karen Walton Morse, Processing Archivist, Special Collections, State University of New York at Buffalo, kewmorse@gmail.com

Abstract Although alternative arts organizations have been an important part of the development of contemporary art in the United States, they are historically under-documented for a variety of reasons including but not limited to loss of funding, poor record keeping, the oftentimes ephemeral nature of alternative art, and a lack of understanding within the wider community about the role and importance of these organizations. Using Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center as a jumpingoff point, this article discusses the importance of documenting and archiving histories of alternative arts organizations locally while offering strategies for doing so.

In 1994 the Poetry Collection at the State University of New York at Buffalo became caretaker of the historical records of Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, a local alternative arts organization then celebrating its twentieth anniversary. Founded in 1937, the Poetry Collection acquires materials in all formats to document English-language modern and contemporary poetry as well as local literary culture. Hallwalls was initiated in 1974 as part of the Artists’ Space Movement.1 Still active today Hallwalls supports the creation and presentation of new work in the visual, media, performing, and literary arts. Although Hallwalls is nationally recognized within the arts community, it is virtually unknown to the general public outside of Buffalo.

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Medium 9781475836745

Assistant Principals’ Perceptions of Value Added to School Success

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

ANNA SUN

ALAN R. SHOHO

Assistant Principals’ Perceptions of Value Added to School Success

ABSTRACT: With the quantitative and G-theory methodologies, this study investigated the perceptions of assistant principals in the states of Pennsylvania and Texas about their evolving roles and responsibilities. The research results suggest there was consistency in terms of the importance of the 56 school activities to the success of schools in teaching and learning as rated by assistant principals. Most of the 56 activities were considered important to teaching and learning by assistant principals regardless of their gender, age, years in present position, and years of experience in education, although there was still some unexplained variability in each assistant principal’s rater group.

KEY WORDS: Assistant Principal, School Leadership, G-theory

Traditionally, principals have responsibilities that include, but not limited to, setting direction, supervising curricula, advancing improvements, and increasing student achievements (e.g., Hallinger & Heck, 1998, 1996; Jacobson & Bezzina, 2008; Leithwood & Riehl, 2005; Muijs & Harris, 2002). However, the continuing onslaught of demands and external mandates from federal and state governments has now attained such pervasive magnitudes that many of today’s principals have found themselves reaching the limits of their dedication to their jobs. Leadership in schools might thus be a better practice of the distribution of leadership from other members and various sources in the leadership team (Gronn, 2002; Jason, Stone & Clark, 2009; Kaplan & Owings, 1999; Spillane, 2006), such as from assistant principals.

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Medium 9781538105849

A Transfiguring God

Mangina, Joseph Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

A Transfiguring God

Jason Byassee

I scarcely preach a sermon in which Flannery O’Connor is not part of the vision. She was a pre–Vatican II Roman Catholic, “13th century” style she liked to say, and her work is unfailingly violent and occasionally redemptive.1 I’m puzzling after a few things about O’Connor. One, she’s a southerner like me. She also went elsewhere for a while—to Iowa and New York, before coming down with lupus at age twenty-five that would kill her at age thirty-nine in 1964; me to Vancouver to teach preaching. She liked to say that there would be no biography of her because lives lived between the house and the chicken coop don’t make for good copy. Yet somehow her life exudes mystery and radiance, as Brad Gooch’s recent biography makes clear.2 She liked to say that southerners write about freaks so often because we can still recognize one.3 And she was one. And we all are. And Christ is the greatest freak of all. Her work is blessedly free of sentimentality—not a cliché in sight. When you read her fiction, you know there will be a conversion and that it will likely require death. And the whole will be uproariously funny in a macabre, guilt-inducing way. O’Connor is the perfect cure for the common confusion that says being Christian is about being nice (especially a problem in Canada—where people no longer think they need the church even to be nice).

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Medium 9781475811360

From the Desk of the Middle School Principal: Leadership Responsive to the Needs of Young Adolescents

R&L Education ePub

KATHLEEN M. BROWN
VINCENT A. ANFARA, JR.
STEVEN J. GROSS

ABSTRACT: Beyond their own walls, middle schools are having a profound effect on the entire range of American schooling, K–12. However, the recent indictments of student achievement at the middle level (TIMSS, NAEP) have increased attention on middle schools in general, and leadership in particular. What are the essential skills and knowledge that are necessary to effectively administer a middle school in the new millennium? The purpose of this research is dedicated to discovering and highlighting the qualities of effective leadership from the perspectives of the principals themselves—“in their own words.” As a result of the data analysis, a model of leadership grounded in the concept of “developmental responsiveness” has emerged. This new paradigm is examined within the context of school improvement and is compared to what the literature and professional organizations identify as necessary characteristics.

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