Paradoxes & Praxis: The 21st Century Imperative for Educational Foundations

Frances Schoolmaker

An educator with a history of many publications ranging from children’s books to literature reviews; Frances Schoonmaker is a major contributor to Curriculum Studies field. Her areas of expertise include: education values, professional development, religion, international education, history, and elementary and early childhood education. She served on many committees inside and outside of the New York City area, as well as internationally. As a professor Emeritus in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College at Columbia University, she has taught many classes such as: Supervision for elementary and secondary schools, Designing curriculum and instructions, Directed research and theory development in curriculum and teaching, and Dissertation advisement in curriculum and teaching. She holds a B.A. in Elementary Education, a M.A. in Early Childhood Education, and E.d.D. in Curriculum Theory.

Books: ‚Äč
Growing Up Teaching:: From Personal Knowledge to Professional Practice (2002)

Focusing on personal knowledge and how it influences teacher development, this book follows one teacher, "Kay," from her years of teacher preparation through her time as a seasoned veteran. What emerges from this intense 10-year study is a more complete picture of teacher development that will help us to better prepare and support our pre- and in-service teachers. This book offers a holistic view of learning to teach that challenges traditional boundaries and provides insight into many important issues, such as the link between theory and practice, teacher retention, and how to get teachers to change timeworn pedagogical practices.
Living Faithfully: The Transformation of Washington School (2012)
Living Faithfully is for anyone interested in education and education policy, whether parent, community member, teacher, student of leadership or policy maker. It looks at school leadership and reform in an alternative way, following the story of change at Washington School, a troubled grades 5-6 center in a small town in Western Oklahoma. Not only does the book address a neglected population, the more than 1/3 of the nation's children who go to school in small towns and rural areas, it uses the occasion to invert thinking about school reform. It argues that in today's policy climate where guaranteed, standard outcomes are touted as goals of education, leadership schemes, even those designed to challenge top down, bureaucratic models, are quickly co-opted to produce the appearance of learning. Prevailing leadership theories beg the question of who is being transformed and to what end, failing to challenge assumptions and dominant ideas of contemporary education and leadership thinking. Drawing on Philip Phenix's idea of the faithful life, the book proposes an alternative way forward. Phenix talks about connections between school and life. According to Phenix, the faithful life is concerned with the normative question of what is good, true, right, just, beautiful, and holy. This is not the vocabulary of current education policy. But it describes the kind of community created at Washington School despite its history of failure. And it describes what most families want for their children whether they live in the city or country, America or elsewhere: an education that matters.