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Bridging Liberalism and Multiculturalism in American Education [Paperback]

Rob Reich
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 1 2002
What should the civic purposes of education be in a liberal and diverse society? Is there a tension between cultivating citizenship and respecting social diversity? What are the boundaries of parental and state authority over education?

Linking political theory with educational history and policy, Rob Reich offers provocative new answers to these questions. He develops a liberal theory of multicultural education in which the leading goal is the cultivation of individual autonomy in children. Reich draws out the policy implications of his theory through one of the first sustained considerations of homeschooling in American education. He also evaluates three of the most prominent trends in contemporary school reform—vouchers, charter schools, and the small school movement—and provides pedagogical recommendations that sharply challenge the reigning wisdom of many multicultural educators.

Written in clear and accessible language, this book will be of interest to political theorists, philosophers, educators, educational policymakers, and teachers.

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Review

"A sensible and significant contribution to the educational controversies that occupy so many political and educational theorists - and policymakers - these days. Rob Reich has a gift for clarifying complicated matters and a talent for writing that makes reading almost effortless." - Richard Dagger, author of Civic Virtues: Rights, Citizenship, and Republican Liberalism

From the Inside Flap

What should the civic purposes of education be in a liberal and diverse society? Is there a tension between cultivating citizenship and respecting social diversity? What are the boundaries of parental and state authority over education?

Linking political theory with educational history and policy, Rob Reich offers provocative new answers to these questions. He develops a liberal theory of multicultural education in which the leading goal is the cultivation of individual autonomy in children. Reich draws out the policy implications of his theory through one of the first sustained considerations of homeschooling in American education. He also evaluates three of the most prominent trends in contemporary school reform-vouchers, charter schools, and the small school movement-and provides pedagogical recommendations that challenge the reigning wisdom of many multicultural educators. Bridging Liberalism and Multiculturalism in American Education will be of interest to political theorists, philosophers, educators, educational policymakers, and teachers.

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Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Let the government tell you what to think Nov. 27 2003
Format:Hardcover
You don't need to think for yourself. Let the communists do all your thinking for you. Your parents are wrong, christianity is wrong, but Socialism. facism and communism are right. The big government will be your family. Your mother and father, grandfather and grandmother, brother sister cousin.
One read of this book and you will take your kids out of government run schools and teach them at home.
This book is complete leftist propaganda garbage. Save your money.
Was this review helpful to you?
1.0 out of 5 stars Breaking Up the American Family Nov. 17 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is just another tired socialist opinion book promoting educational policies that are aimed at breaking up the American family and its traditions of individualism, and turning this nation further down the path towards state control of every individual such as we see in most nations around the world. We've seen this type of educational theory before - in the 20's and beyond under Lenin, Stalin and Hitler and most recently with Saddam Hussein, to mention only the most egregious examples, and here under John Dewey and other progressives. It consists of confusing children by undermining the example and teachings of their parents and attempting to replace true education with functional illiteracy and moral relativism such that the children become willing tools of the state, dependent upon the state to tell them what to think. Reich's type of education in practice provides the fodder to carry out the purposes of the state - in this case, the federal government. Let's keep one thing in mind - Reich's proposals are antithetical to the US Constitution. Read Charlotte Iserbyt's book called "The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America" and you'll see that Robert Reich is just another "expert" promoting America's long decline into illiteracy and mental servitude. Remember what happened to Rome - it's happening here too. If you never knew why Rome fell to the barbarians in 400AD, you too had a Robert Reich type of education. Don't let it happen to your kids. Get 'em out of government schools! Homeschool!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, great idea! June 27 2003
Format:Paperback
When you went to school, whom did you learn more from - your teachers or your classmates? It may not be a clear answer (for me it was a clear answer: classmates) but it is worth considering. Our (American) society, has forgotten this and has created a very plain and trickle down education system that has left us all craving for something better.
This is book is a MUST read for policy makers in helping what America and perhaps the world at large should be considering when creating an educational environment that works. Mr. Rob Reich convincingly suggests the cultivation of individual autonomy in children is what can drive the education system away from its current situation into a much more dynamic and functioning environment. Mr. Reich weaves his philosophy and history into concrete workable solutions in an absolutely brilliant and clearly written book that should be read by anyone interested education. This can't be understated. I feel after reading this very strongly that the US Department of Education in Washington, DC should drop what they're doing and read & enact Mr. Reich's ideas and suggestions as policy.
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By A Customer
Format:Paperback
''Bridging Liberalism and Multiculturalism in American Education,'' by Rob Reich (University of Chicago Press) Children often confront the toughest social issues before adults do. The children of Little Rock, Ark., were frontline soldiers in the civil rights movement while the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was still in graduate school. In the 70's, students with disabilities were mainstreamed into classrooms long before similar doors opened for disabled adults. And only a few years ago, before most people knew the term, multiculturalism showed up as part of the curriculum.
It became the rage while Rob Reich was teaching poor Hispanic sixth graders in Texas. He knew it was a powerful concept. He also saw the idea trivialized even as it took hold. ''Was adjusting the school menu to include a variety of ethnic foods a part of the same reform idea as renovating the school curriculum to include the history and literature of cultural minorities?'' he asks. Now a professor of education at Stanford University, Dr. Reich has answers in his book, to be published in May. Multiculturalism is actually two ideas, he says. On the one hand, it is about understanding and celebrating our differences. On the other, it is a philosophy of protest, insisting on group identity over the cliches of American individualism. Dr. Reich takes sides: he's for the multiculturalism that celebrates difference without rejecting the melting pot. Using sometimes challenging philosophical arguments, he makes a strong case.
Don't ''teach students to be who they already are,'' he writes. ''Enable children to decide who they want to become.''
Peter Temes is president of the Great Books Foundation, a nonprofit organization that sponsors reading programs.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bridging Liberalism and Multiculturalism in American Educati April 15 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
''Bridging Liberalism and Multiculturalism in American Education,'' by Rob Reich (University of Chicago Press) Children often confront the toughest social issues before adults do. The children of Little Rock, Ark., were frontline soldiers in the civil rights movement while the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was still in graduate school. In the 70's, students with disabilities were mainstreamed into classrooms long before similar doors opened for disabled adults. And only a few years ago, before most people knew the term, multiculturalism showed up as part of the curriculum.
It became the rage while Rob Reich was teaching poor Hispanic sixth graders in Texas. He knew it was a powerful concept. He also saw the idea trivialized even as it took hold. ''Was adjusting the school menu to include a variety of ethnic foods a part of the same reform idea as renovating the school curriculum to include the history and literature of cultural minorities?'' he asks. Now a professor of education at Stanford University, Dr. Reich has answers in his book, to be published in May. Multiculturalism is actually two ideas, he says. On the one hand, it is about understanding and celebrating our differences. On the other, it is a philosophy of protest, insisting on group identity over the cliches of American individualism. Dr. Reich takes sides: he's for the multiculturalism that celebrates difference without rejecting the melting pot. Using sometimes challenging philosophical arguments, he makes a strong case.
Don't ''teach students to be who they already are,'' he writes. ''Enable children to decide who they want to become.''
Peter Temes is president of the Great Books Foundation, a nonprofit organization that sponsors reading programs.
11 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Breaking Up the American Family Nov. 17 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is just another tired socialist opinion book promoting educational policies that are aimed at breaking up the American family and its traditions of individualism, and turning this nation further down the path towards state control of every individual such as we see in most nations around the world. We've seen this type of educational theory before - in the 20's and beyond under Lenin, Stalin and Hitler and most recently with Saddam Hussein, to mention only the most egregious examples, and here under John Dewey and other progressives. It consists of confusing children by undermining the example and teachings of their parents and attempting to replace true education with functional illiteracy and moral relativism such that the children become willing tools of the state, dependent upon the state to tell them what to think. Reich's type of education in practice provides the fodder to carry out the purposes of the state - in this case, the federal government. Let's keep one thing in mind - Reich's proposals are antithetical to the US Constitution. Read Charlotte Iserbyt's book called "The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America" and you'll see that Robert Reich is just another "expert" promoting America's long decline into illiteracy and mental servitude. Remember what happened to Rome - it's happening here too. If you never knew why Rome fell to the barbarians in 400AD, you too had a Robert Reich type of education. Don't let it happen to your kids. Get 'em out of government schools! Homeschool!
11 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Let the government tell you what to think Nov. 27 2003
By sexydarin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
You don't need to think for yourself. Let the communists do all your thinking for you. Your parents are wrong, christianity is wrong, but Socialism. facism and communism are right. The big government will be your family. Your mother and father, grandfather and grandmother, brother sister cousin.
One read of this book and you will take your kids out of government run schools and teach them at home.
This book is complete leftist propaganda garbage. Save your money.
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