Critical Lessons: What Our Schools Might Teach but Do Not

Nel Noddings, Author . Cambridge Univ. $30 (328p) ISBN 978-0-521-85188-6

Education theorist Noddings calls attention to aspects of ordinary contemporary living: "topics, claims, and issues to which critical thinking should be applied, but [which are] rarely addressed in the schools." Her wide-ranging ideas encompass involving students as they directly apply those critical thinking skills to their lives. These skills touch on issues that all students will eventually face in their domestic world (e.g., the nature of learning itself, of parenting, of home building), their civic lives (e.g., the nature of war, of earning a living, of advertising) and their broader public concerns (e.g., gender, religion). Noddings, a Stanford education professor, has strong opinions about many of these matters, but she never loses sight of her main point: teaching through challenging questions that go to the logical and moral heart of the matter. She proposes a daring and controversial transformation of secondary education, one that would prepare "students for life in a liberal democracy [by offering] real choices among rich courses." High school teachers and administrators, to whom this book is particularly addressed, will be stimulated to fresh thinking about what they teach and why. Parents, general readers and inquisitive high school students will find it accessible and persuasive. (June)

Reviewed on: 03/27/2006
Release date: 05/01/2006
Open Ebook - 300 pages - 978-0-511-19005-6
Paperback - 319 pages - 978-0-521-71000-8
Open Ebook - 329 pages - 978-0-511-19187-9
Ebook - 978-0-511-80462-5
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