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Curriculum on the Edge of Survival: How Schools Fail to Prepare Students for Membership in a Democracy (Paperback)
  • Curriculum on the Edge of Survival: How Schools Fail to Prepare Students for Membership in a Democracy (Paperback)

Curriculum on the Edge of Survival: How Schools Fail to Prepare Students for Membership in a Democracy (Paperback)

Paperback 152 Pages / Published: 05/11/2007
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Daniel Heller contends that public education is in a downward spiral because we have failed to notice the erosion of the basic curricular dimensions which support the preparation of students as active participants in our ever-changing world. While many books explain procedural knowledge such as how to differentiate instruction, how to create standards-based curriculum, or how to write a constructivist lesson_Curriculum on the Edge of Survival discusses the 'what' and 'why' rather than the how. What is the purpose of schools in a free, democratic society, and why is the answer to that question crucial in deciding the most fundamental questions about curriculum?

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781578866649
Number of pages: 152
Weight: 236 g
Dimensions: 228 x 155 x 12 mm

Dan Heller provides a thought provoking commentary on the direction of America's schools. His advocacy for helping learners develop habits of caring, involvement, curiosity and commitment will strike a responsive chord in the hearts and minds of dedicated educators everywhere. Dan's work is a sensitive and centering approach to meeting the needs of our country's children as they move through today's broken educational system. -- Joan Burkhard, executive director of Riverbrook Residence, Inc.
Dan Heller is an experienced educator. He has done it all from teaching, to administration, to instructional district-level leadership. By the virtue of his broad success in the multiple arenas of our profession, he has earned the right to be called a leader in the profession. We need more 'leaders' in teaching and-in particular-we need to hear from seasoned expert educators who can weigh in on the inter-relationships between practice and policy. I admire Dan's effort in this regard. He is attempting to help teachers and other educators envision a practice that both addresses the mandates we face yet does so with integrity. [He] strives to articulate modes of approaching the thorny predicaments of practice through a system that celebrates thinking, moral engagement, and holistic conceptions of children living in an ecology. -- Sam Intrator Ph.D, Professor of Education and Child Study, Smith College
Dan Heller's thoughtful analysis of the purpose of learning and his impassioned call for a reconceptualization of our educational system are intriguing and timely. In this well-written and compelling book, he invites all of us to re-dedicate our teaching and to make our classrooms more vibrant, more relevant, and more humane. -- Leila Christenbury, professor, English Education, Virginia Commonwealth University
Heller's four prongs of preparation for participation in a democracy-kindness, thinking, problem-solving, and communications-exemplify the 'less is more' approach to education. Rather than creating automatons with standard-issue knowledge, beliefs, and behaviors, curricula designed with these four tenets would promote actors/agents in the world who would question, take risks, reflect, and consider context, complexity, and connectedness. Such students/citizens would engage in relationships with their learning/living . . . and yes, relationships can be messy. With a populace grounded in these qualities, however, we might have a shot at practicing true democracy. -- KD Maynard, director of advising at UMASS

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