What's fear got to do with it?

January 23, 2008

The education world is under more scrutiny than ever before. Reports, political platforms, test result comparisons, and various articles in newspapers and magazines all criticize a field that just a generation or so ago was considered an unabashed American success. Educators, students and parents each experience significant fear as it relates to the education system, fearing such things as job loss, testing, bullying, or poor educational quality.

The current special issue of Educational Policy, named the Politics of Education Association Yearbook, explores the use of fear in the politics of education and its impact. Beginning with the assertion that fear now shapes the political arena, affecting beliefs about education, the articles examine current issues in education and how they affect students, teachers and administrators.

“The 2008 Yearbook examines the underlying elements of fear in education politics, among groups, constituencies, and levels of government--as a way of understanding the dynamics of school change and reform in a complex post-modern society,” commented Journal Editor Ana M. Martinez Aleman. “Guest Editors Rick Ginsberg and Brice Cooper have compiled articles that invite the readers to critically examine the politics of fear in school reform.”

“This volume of the Politics of Education Yearbook covers some new ground in the field of the politics of education,” write the guest editors in the introduction. “Our hope is that it will spark new research on how politics is evolving as it relates to education and help those studying the field to recognize the prominence that fear now holds in how schools function.”

Source: SAGE Publications

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