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The Charged Classroom: Predicaments and Possibilities for Democratic Teaching (Paperback)
  • The Charged Classroom: Predicaments and Possibilities for Democratic Teaching (Paperback)

The Charged Classroom: Predicaments and Possibilities for Democratic Teaching (Paperback)

Paperback 136 Pages / Published: 04/03/2015
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At a time when debate over school reform commands unprecedented attention, Judith L. Pace argues we must grapple with the underlying challenges of classroom teaching and, at the same time, strive to realize the ideals of democratic education. Building on three qualitative studies in grades four through twelve, The Charged Classroom examines the deeply embedded tensions, escalating pressures, and exciting possibilities of the contemporary American public school classroom. Through detailed descriptions and analyses of social studies and English language arts classrooms, Pace disentangles how teachers and students navigate three charged arenas: academic expectations, discussion of provocative topics, and curricular demands. In each domain, democratic learning opportunities, such as promotion of positive student identity, dialogue across differences, and exploration of conflict, are both opened up and closed down. A passionate and persuasive call for education reform, the book offers crucial insights about the realities of teaching and key recommendations for advancing democratic education in a multicultural society.

Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
ISBN: 9780415736657
Number of pages: 136
Weight: 227 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 10 mm


In this theoretically sophisticated and empirically grounded book, Judith Pace provides a rich and interesting exploration of how the beliefs and interests of students, the larger school context, and the pedagogy and philosophies of teachers intersect in the "charged classroom." This important book will be an enlightening read for teachers, teacher educators, and researchers who seek to better understand the contours and complexities of democratic education.

--Diana Hess, Senior Vice-President of the Spencer Foundation and Professor in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, University of Wisconsin-Madison

In a voice that is wise, discerning, and nuanced, Judith Pace offers a rare and provocative view of classroom life, probing the casualties and opportunities, the tensions and contradictions that teachers and their students navigate each day as they create together a multicultural democratic education. The Charged Classroom is at once a practical guide and a prophetic call to action.

Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, Emily Hargroves Fisher Professor of Education, Harvard University

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