From Publishers Weekly
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)
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"Drawing on historical and pedagogical studies, literary analysis, and primary-source materials, Noddings provides a wide-ranging argument for the discussion of race, class, gender, consumerism, mass communications, the family, and the workplace in the curriculum.[...] This volume is likely to become an important resource for future scholarship." --Library Journal
"Most readers of education-policy books like this expect the author to tell them what to think. But Noddings rarely advocates for any controversial position; instead, she gives teachers suggestions on how to begin provocative conversations, and offers ideas to keep these conversations safe, civil, and engaging. Most public-school graduates will find Critical Lessons a provocative course in their post- secondary education." --Greater Good Magazine
"This book engages the reader from the introduction to the final pages[...]The author, past president of the John Dewey Society, moves through each of the chapters discussing key topics such as war, people, parenting, nature, propaganda, gender, and religion, relating them all to critical thinking and self-understanding. She weaves a complex book that is superbly written and combines literature, psychology, theology, philosophy, and liberal education." --H.B. Arnold, University of the Pacific, Choice
"It is refreshing to read a volume written by an individual who has the understanding and experience to offer a well-reasoned, if radical, plan for curricular reform in public secondary schools[...]Critical Lessons should be required reading for every student in teacher education programs." --Jean Shepherd Hamm, Feminist Teacher