Diversity and Democracy

In Print

Sentipensante (Sensing/Thinking) Pedagogy, Laura Rendón (Stylus Publishing LLC, 2008, $27.50 hardcover)

What would happen if educators eschewed the silent agreements that govern institutions and established a new set of working assumptions that honor the fullness of humanity? In this visionary study, Laura Rendón lays the groundwork for a pedagogy that bridges the gap between mind and heart to lead students and educators toward a new conception of teaching and learning. Grounding her work in interviews of scholars who are already transforming the educational landscape, Rendón invites the reader to join a burgeoning movement toward more inclusive classrooms that honor each learner's identity and support education for social justice. Her book is vital reading for anyone seeking to create more inclusive institutions for students and teachers alike.

Student Engagement in Higher Education: Theoretical Perspectives and Practical Approaches for Diverse Populations, Shaun R. Harper and Stephen John Quaye, Eds. (Taylor and Francis Group, 2009, $45.95 paperback)

While teaching at the University of Southern California, editors Harper and Quaye challenged their doctoral students to research effective practices that promote engagement for students of a range of social identities. The result is a rich volume of scholarship on the complex and situational circumstances that impede or advance student success. Each article provides both theoretical perspective and concrete curricular and cocurricular models to enhance the college experiences of students, whatever their particular identities and contexts. Student Engagement in Higher Education is an essential text for faculty, staff, and administrators aspiring to facilitate student engagement on today's multicultural campuses.

Educating for Human Rights and Global Citizenship, Ali A. Abdi and Lynette Shultz, Eds. (State University of New York Press, Albany, 2008, $70 hardcover)

In this provocative set of essays, the authors use the powerful language of human rights, dramatically affirmed sixty years ago in the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to expand the definition of global citizenship to encompass power, inclusion, and political, economic, and social rights. The wide range of essays explores such topics as the historical sweep of four generations of human rights thinking; the efforts to "de-citizenize" through conquest, slavery, and colonization; minority rights and citizenship for immigrants; and ways human rights has been used to justify imperial designs. The authors posit a global citizenship ethic as an overriding goal and argue that education at the school and college level offers a genuine site for learning and practicing that ethic through contact with diversity.

Because of Race: How Americans Debate Harm and Opportunity in Our Schools, Mica Pollock (Princeton University Press, 2008, $29.95 cloth)

Drawing from her experience in the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights as well as her work as a classroom teacher, Mica Pollock exposes the "analytic impasse" that obstructs conversations about equal opportunity in American schools. With fascinating analysis of the political and personal roadblocks that impede civil rights work in K-12 education, she exposes the systemic nature of injustice and underscores the need for systemic response. Pollock concludes with specific and widely applicable suggestions for how to effectively frame discussions of equity. With its focus on "everyday justice," the book is instructive not only for K-12 educators, but for anyone interested in social justice in American education.

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