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The Challenge to Care in Schools: An Alternative Approach to Education

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This book challenges the traditional organization of high school studies around the academic disciplines. Noddings argues that such emphasis shortchanges not only the noncollege-bound whose interests are almost ignored, but even those who are preparing for college. The latter receive schooling for the head but little for the heart and soul. Noddings counteracts this condit This book challenges the traditional organization of high school studies around the academic disciplines. Noddings argues that such emphasis shortchanges not only the noncollege-bound whose interests are almost ignored, but even those who are preparing for college. The latter receive schooling for the head but little for the heart and soul. Noddings counteracts this condition, insisting that our aim should be to encourage the growth of competent, caring, loving and lovable persons, a moral priority that our educational system ignores. She argues that liberal education dictates what areas of pedagogy are socially acceptable - ignoring a student's wider range of abilities - and undervalues skills, attitudes and capacities traditionally associated with women. Contrarily, it is precisely the competence for caring, Nodding posits, that will prepare our students for the environment of the school, the world of work, the realm of ideas, and ultimately, for each other.


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This book challenges the traditional organization of high school studies around the academic disciplines. Noddings argues that such emphasis shortchanges not only the noncollege-bound whose interests are almost ignored, but even those who are preparing for college. The latter receive schooling for the head but little for the heart and soul. Noddings counteracts this condit This book challenges the traditional organization of high school studies around the academic disciplines. Noddings argues that such emphasis shortchanges not only the noncollege-bound whose interests are almost ignored, but even those who are preparing for college. The latter receive schooling for the head but little for the heart and soul. Noddings counteracts this condition, insisting that our aim should be to encourage the growth of competent, caring, loving and lovable persons, a moral priority that our educational system ignores. She argues that liberal education dictates what areas of pedagogy are socially acceptable - ignoring a student's wider range of abilities - and undervalues skills, attitudes and capacities traditionally associated with women. Contrarily, it is precisely the competence for caring, Nodding posits, that will prepare our students for the environment of the school, the world of work, the realm of ideas, and ultimately, for each other.

30 review for The Challenge to Care in Schools: An Alternative Approach to Education

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mfalco65

    This book still blows my mind. Noddings presents a compelling case for the direction our educational system should go. If our schools could just take a fraction of what Noddings has to say here, the future of the next generations would be endlessly bright.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Eduardo

    I read this book as part of research for a graduate-level education course in adolescent development. I found the initial chapters and the final chapters to be most engaging and meaningful while the I felt that the middle chapters were less focused. Though I feel that the almost-sidebar-ish nature of those middle chapters detracted somewhat from the overall book, I must allow for the role they play in explaining Noddings' philosophy regarding the centers of care that she believes should be taught I read this book as part of research for a graduate-level education course in adolescent development. I found the initial chapters and the final chapters to be most engaging and meaningful while the I felt that the middle chapters were less focused. Though I feel that the almost-sidebar-ish nature of those middle chapters detracted somewhat from the overall book, I must allow for the role they play in explaining Noddings' philosophy regarding the centers of care that she believes should be taught. For me the initial chapters lay the foundation for why our present education system is insufficient for truly serving the needs of the students in it. Noddings shows why the system as it currently exists sells students, teachers, and relationships well short of their true and necessary values. The closing chapters return to these initial arguments and add several important points. By the time I read the last page I was back to feeling as I did at the start, that caring for students is more important that caring for content or control. It may not be possible to do justice to Noddings' vision without starting education anew, but I do feel that I can bring a modicum of care to the students in my classroom. I believe that developing that care every day can play a part in normalizing such behavior and moving the conversation, even slightly, towards Noddings' vision.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Brian Hull

    Revolutionary ideas, perhaps the best book on education I've ever read. Revolutionary ideas, perhaps the best book on education I've ever read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kyrstin

    Must read for teachers and proponents of change in our educational system. Written in 2005, it is possibly even more relevant and applicable today than it was then.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    I appreciated Noddings's honesty about the importance of relationships in life, and especially in teaching. Her ideas for a radical new curriculum, focused on the 'ethics of caring' will have me reflecting for some time...much of it I had to read and think, "Yes, but..." because she's forgotten the horrible constraints under which public schools operate, but her message was passionate and heart-felt. I especially liked her questions about a liberal education, and all those isolated 'facts' every I appreciated Noddings's honesty about the importance of relationships in life, and especially in teaching. Her ideas for a radical new curriculum, focused on the 'ethics of caring' will have me reflecting for some time...much of it I had to read and think, "Yes, but..." because she's forgotten the horrible constraints under which public schools operate, but her message was passionate and heart-felt. I especially liked her questions about a liberal education, and all those isolated 'facts' every educated person ought to know -- those facts that subject specialists complain that students don't know. She challenges us as teachers to be certain WE know those ever-so-important facts. Every teacher should know math and history and literary analysis IF every student should. I loved that idea.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Elke

    While reading this book, I kept on asking myself how my classroom would have been different if I was a teacher who placed care in the center of all the work I did with my students instead of a narrow definition of academic achievement. Noddings' ethic of care has had a profound impact on my thinking about my purposes and goals as an educator. She might get overly philosophical in some spots, but overall, I highly recommend this text to any educator who wonders how we build schools that are more While reading this book, I kept on asking myself how my classroom would have been different if I was a teacher who placed care in the center of all the work I did with my students instead of a narrow definition of academic achievement. Noddings' ethic of care has had a profound impact on my thinking about my purposes and goals as an educator. She might get overly philosophical in some spots, but overall, I highly recommend this text to any educator who wonders how we build schools that are more attuned to helping kids grow into caring, whole people.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    A re-envisionment of what schools' roles in society should be. Noddings's vision is somewhat idealistic, but her reasoning is grounded in research, experience, and logic. It's a powerful read if you connect with the problems she identifies and the solutions she proposes. A re-envisionment of what schools' roles in society should be. Noddings's vision is somewhat idealistic, but her reasoning is grounded in research, experience, and logic. It's a powerful read if you connect with the problems she identifies and the solutions she proposes.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Erendira

    Main LC311 .N57 2005

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    My education philosophy.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sasha

    Fluffy, progressive nonsense. This book bites.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kiersten

    I skimmed the last 50 pages, it didn't hold my attention that well. Still, Noddings has a lot of great ideas and it's obvious that she has the best interest of students in mind. I skimmed the last 50 pages, it didn't hold my attention that well. Still, Noddings has a lot of great ideas and it's obvious that she has the best interest of students in mind.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Joe Bouchelle

  13. 4 out of 5

    Angela

  14. 4 out of 5

    Wei-ling

  15. 5 out of 5

    Libby Armstrong

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jen

  17. 5 out of 5

    Steve

  18. 4 out of 5

    Marlon Blake

  19. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Peters

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dr.gaildavis

  21. 4 out of 5

    Samantha McGuire (Mirror Bridge Books)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brionna

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jill

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mia

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Bourbonnais

  26. 4 out of 5

    Becky

  27. 4 out of 5

    Marcy

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jennie

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

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