Changing Work, Changing Workers: Critical Perspectives on Language, Literacy, and Skills

SUNY Press
Free sample

Changing Work, Changing Workers looks at U.S. factories and workplace education programs to see what is expected currently of workers. The studies reported in Hull’s book draw their evidence from firsthand, sustained looks at workplaces and workplace education efforts. Many of the chapters represent long-term ethnographic or qualitative research. Others are fine-grained examinations of texts, curricula, or policy. Such perspectives result in portraits that honor the complex nature of work, people, and education.

For example, one chapter examines the shop floor of a computer manufacturer in Silicon Valley and shows how well-intentioned organizational changes, such as the imposition of self-directed work teams, often go awry, particularly in multicultural workplaces. Another chapter provides the history of a federally funded literacy project designed for garment workers in New York City, documenting the struggles and achievements that accompanied this attempt to prepare immigrants for alternatives to work in a rapidly downsizing industry. Other settings and topics include a community college where minority women are prepared for the skilled trades; an auto-accessory plant with a “pay-for-knowledge” training program; a union-based literacy program designed for hospital workers; and the popular vocational curriculum called “applied communications.”
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About the author

Glynda Hull is Associate Professor of Education, University of California, Berkeley, and is Director of Berkeley’s College Writing Programs.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Pages
416
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ISBN
9781438407234
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Sociology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

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Teaching to Change the World is an up-to-the-moment, engaging, social justice-oriented introduction to education and teaching, and the challenges and opportunities they present. Both foundational and practical, the chapters are organized around conventional topics but in a way that consistently integrates a coherent story that explains why schools are as they are. Taking the position that a hopeful, democratic future depends on ensuring that all students learn, the text pays particular attention to inequalities associated with race, social class, language, gender, and other social categories and explores teachers’ role in addressing them.

This thoroughly revised fifth edition remains a vital introduction to the profession for a new generation of teachers who seek to become purposeful, knowledgeable practitioners in our ever-changing educational landscape—for those teachers who see the potential for education to change the world.

Features and Updates of the New Edition:

• Fully updated Chapter 1, "The U.S. Schooling Dilemma," reflects our current state of education after the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

• First-person observations from teachers, including first-year teachers, continue to offer vivid, authentic pictures of what teaching to change the world means and involves.

• Additional coverage of the ongoing effects of Common Core highlights the heated public discourse around teaching and teachers, and charter schools.

• Attention to diversity and inclusion is treated as integral to all chapters, woven throughout rather than tacked on as separate units.

• "Digging Deeper" resources on the new companion website include concrete resources that current and future teachers can use in their classrooms.

• "Tools for Critique" provides instructors and students questions, prompts, and activities aimed at encouraging classroom discussion and particularly engaging those students least familiar with the central tenets of social justice education.

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, NAMED BY THE TIMES AS ONE OF "6 BOOKS TO HELP UNDERSTAND TRUMP'S WIN" AND SOON TO BE A MAJOR-MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY RON HOWARD

"You will not read a more important book about America this year."—The Economist

"A riveting book."—The Wall Street Journal

"Essential reading."—David Brooks, New York Times

Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The disintegration of this group, a process that has been slowly occurring now for more than forty years, has been reported with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.

The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually one of their grandchildren would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that J.D.'s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, never fully escaping the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. With piercing honesty, Vance shows how he himself still carries around the demons of his chaotic family history.

A deeply moving memoir, with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.

Reading Work: Literacies in the New Workplace explores changing understandings of literacy and its place in contemporary workplace settings. It points to new questions and dilemmas to consider in planning and teaching workplace education. By taking a social perspective on literacies in the workplace, this book challenges traditional thinking about workplace literacy as functional skills, and enables readers to see the complexity of literacy practices and their embeddedness in culture, knowledge, and action. A mixture of ethnographic studies, analysis, and personal reflections makes these ideas accessible and relevant to a wide range of readers in the fields of adult literacy and language education and helps to bridge the divide between theory and practice in the field of workplace education.

Reading Work: Literacies in the New Workplace features:
*four distinct but related ethnographies of literacy use in contemporary workplaces;
*a social practice view of literacy brought to the workplace;
*collaborative research undertaken by experienced workplace educators and academics working in the areas of adult literacy and second language learning;
*implications chapters for both practice and theory--presented not as a series of steps but rather as reflections by seasoned educators on shared dilemmas; and
*engaging, accessible writing that encourages workplace practitioners to read, learn from, and do their own research.

This book is an important resource for practicing workplace educators, trainers, and instructors; academics who teach workplace educators; unionists, policymakers, human resource managers, supervisors, or quality coordinators who believe education can make a difference and are interested in seeing maximum results from workplace learning. Visit the In-Sites Research Group Web site: http://www.nald.ca/insites/.
Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? How did the legalization of abortion affect the rate of violent crime?

These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much-heralded scholar who studies the riddles of everyday life—from cheating and crime to sports and child-rearing—and whose conclusions turn conventional wisdom on its head.

Freakonomics is a groundbreaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist. They usually begin with a mountain of data and a simple question. Some of these questions concern life-and-death issues; others have an admittedly freakish quality. Thus the new field of study contained in this book: Freakonomics.

Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, Levitt and Dubner show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives—how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. In Freakonomics, they explore the hidden side of . . . well, everything. The inner workings of a crack gang. The truth about real-estate agents. The myths of campaign finance. The telltale marks of a cheating schoolteacher. The secrets of the Ku Klux Klan.

What unites all these stories is a belief that the modern world, despite a great deal of complexity and downright deceit, is not impenetrable, is not unknowable, and—if the right questions are asked—is even more intriguing than we think. All it takes is a new way of looking.

Freakonomics establishes this unconventional premise: If morality represents how we would like the world to work, then economics represents how it actually does work. It is true that readers of this book will be armed with enough riddles and stories to last a thousand cocktail parties. But Freakonomics can provide more than that. It will literally redefine the way we view the modern world.

Bonus material added to the revised and expanded 2006 edition

The original New York Times Magazine article about Steven D. Levitt by Stephen J. Dubner, which led to the creation of this book.

Seven “Freakonomics” columns written for the New York Times Magazine, published between August 2005 and April 2006.

Selected entries from the Freakonomics blog, posted between April 2005 and May 2006 at http://www.freakonomics.com/blog/.

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