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ERIC Number: ED500128
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Pages: 222
Abstractor: ERIC
ISBN: ISBN-0-7391-1559-6ISBN-978-0-7391-1559-6
Volatile Knowing: Parents, Teachers, and the Censored Story of Accountability in America's Public Schools
Tollefson, Kaia
Lexington Books
"Volatile Knowing" refers to the potential for positive change that can result when parents and teachers talk with each other about the politics and policies of externally defined accountability mandates in education. This text tells the story of twelve teachers and parents who breached the unofficial, but deeply inscribed home/school divide to discuss the current accountability-for-uniformity movement that has overtaken the nation's educational agenda at federal, state, and local levels. This kind of volatile knowing offers hope for progressively-minded citizens: that together, parents and teachers can ignite a new, child-centered movement for accountability and creativity in America's public schools. "Volatile Knowing" is based on a qualitative case study of a particular group of parents and teachers who studied and discussed information about the accountability movement that is typically censored in mainstream media coverage. The themes that emerged in this study are presented through the lens of Foucault's analysis of the workings of modern power. By making the exercise of hierarchical power visible to readers, it is hoped that "Volatile Knowing" will prompt an expanding conversation and ongoing study of the ways in which the people's definitional authority in their schools and society can be both lost and found. This book is organized into the following chapters: (1) Accountability in the Schools: What the People Don't Know; (2) Challenging the Virtually Unchallenged: A Personal Experience; (3) Making Sense of the Accountability Movement: Organized (and Profitable) Malevolence against the Public Schools; (4) Redefining Accountability in Our Schools: Inviting Parents to the Learning Community; (5) Research Findings: Tracing a Path toward Hope; (6) The Inversion of Visibility; (7) The Instruments of Discipline; and (8) Reframing the Panopticon. The following are appended: (1) Methodology; (2) Discipline in the Public School Panopticon; and (3) Osmosis and the Evolution of the Public School Panopticon.
Lexington Books, A division of Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. 4501 Forbes Blvd Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706. Tel: 800-462-6420; Tel: 717-794-3800; Fax: 800-338-4550; Fax: 717-794-3803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Books; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A