Book Talk: Early Childhood Education, Postcolonial Theory, and Teaching Practices and Policies in India, with Amita Gupta, Tuesday, 9/24, 4-5:30pm

Tuesday, 9/24, 4-5:30pm


The Gottesman Libraries sponsors book talks and lectures by faculty, students, staff, and others interested in sharing their work with the Teachers College community.
  • Early Childhood Education, Postcolonial Theory, and Teaching Practices and Policies in India, with Amita Gupta, Tuesday, 9/24, 4-5:30pm
  • On Tuesday, September 24th, Amita Gupta, Teachers College alumna and Associate Professor of Education in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture, at City College of New York, will present her newly revised book, Early Childhood Education, Postcolonial Theory, and Teaching Practices and Policies in India: Balancing Vygotsky and the Veda (Palgrave Macmillan, 9/5/2013). "Conceptualized within a socio-cultural constructivist and postcolonial paradigm, this book explores a definite tension between 'Western' theories of child development and the 'Indian' ways of being and thinking. It also provides a richly descriptive and relatively unexamined account of the culturally complex relationship that exists in urban India between formal teacher education programs, national policies, early childhood classrooms, and the urban, middle-class experiences of children and early childhood teachers. The hallmark features of this book lie in the rich examples, research anecdotes, and postcolonial perspectives on the voices of teachers explicitly describing their classroom practice. This book is truly one of the first of its kind, and, now in a revised edition, offers a timely response to educational initiatives of the twenty-first century." --Palgrave MacMillan In addition to teaching at City College, Amita Gupta is a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar. Dr. Gupta has been in the field of early education for over twenty years and has extensive cross-cultural experience with school administration, teacher education, and classroom teaching in urban schools in both India and the U.S. Prior to joining CUNY she was Associate Director of an early education school on the Upper West Side for ten years. Dr. Gupta has served as an early childhood consultant and on the Board of Directors for schools in both countries, and continues to offer culturally responsive professional development consultations in the areas of school leadership, teacher preparation, curriculum design and development for schools, institutions and organizations in India and the U.S. Join us in welcoming Dr. Gupta back to Teachers College. Previous book talks include: Going to School in South Asia: The Global School Room (Greenwood Press, 2007); and Early Childhood Education: Postcolonial Theory and Teaching Practices in India: Balancing Vygotsky and the Veda (Palgrave MacMillan, 2006). Please rsvp with details via online support no later than Friday, September 20th. Where: 306 Russell
  • Goodenoughmothering, with Elaine Heffner, Wednesday, 9/11, 4-5:30pm
  • "So, just what is 'good enough?' To answer that question we have to think about the purpose of child-rearing: what our goal is as parents. We know that children are dependent creatures who have to be taken care of -- sometimes it seems forever. We know that we must provide them with food, shelter and clothing. But we also have to prepare and teach them to live in the world they will live in. That means becoming self-sufficient while at the same time knowing how to get along with others. They have to learn to meet their own needs while considering the needs and wishes of others. This is the art of living. Teaching this to children is the art of mothering." (Goodenoughmothering: The Best of the Blog, Introduction, pp. 13-14.) Goodenoughmothering: The Best of the Blog discusses the issues parents have raised with Dr. Elaine Heffner during her many years of professional work as a parent educator. The inspirational book comprises a selection of enlightening posts from the author's blog, goodenoughmothering.com and reflects the feelings and concerns of parents, conveying a specific message: There is no perfect; good enough is good enough. Elaine Heffner, LCSW, Ed.D, is a psychotherapist and parent educator in private practice in New York City and a Senior Lecturer of Education in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College. She co-founded and directed the Nursery School Treatment Center at Payne Whitney Clinic, New York Hospital. Dr. Heffner is the author of Mothering: The Emotional Experience of Motherhood after Freud and Feminism (Doubleday, 1978; Anchor Press, 1980). She has also written for Redbook, Parents Magazine, Family.com, Disney online, and PBSParents.org. Dr. Heffner is married to Richard D. Heffner, host of Open Mind, and is a mother of two children, and grandmother of four. Persons wishing to attend the book talk may rsvp via online support by Monday, September 9th. Where: 305 Russell
  • My Life in School, with Harriet Sobol and Guests, Monday, 9/16, 4-5:30pm
  • Please join us on Monday, September 16th for a book reading and discussion of My Life in School: A Memoir (Scarsdale, New York: Public School of Tomorrow, 2013), by Thomas Sobol, former New York State Commissioner of Education, Distinguished Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, and architect of New York State’s New Compact for Learning. Sobol typed this deeply inspiring chronicle of some eighty years in education, as he lay confined to his bed with a spinal cord disorder. See the critical acclaim below from leading educators, and check out Learning by Doing, Even When He Can't Do Much, an article about Sobol's book published by TC''s Office of External Affairs (TC Research & Publications, March 4, 2013). "Tom Sobol is one of the great educators of our time - a true teacher who never lost his deep connection to the classroom and his deep commitment to equitable, high-quality public education as he became a superintendent, a state policymaker, and a distinguished professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University. I was privileged to know him in several of these roles and I learned always from his wisdom and his example, which is captured in this wonderful book. Read it and you will be enriched and enlightened." --Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Teaching & Teacher Education, Stanford University "In this wise and rewarding volume, Thomas Sobol looks backward over his distinguished career as an educational practitioner and leader and weaves a memoir that bridges poignant and powerful autobiographical narratives with discerning and critical professional reflections. He urges us to resist the simplistic solutions, the adversarial dogma, and the ideological narrowness that characterize so much of the school reform debate; and challenges us to remember-always-the intimate and relational processes of teaching and learning and all of the children who deserve to a productive and rewarding education." --Sara Lawrence Lightfoot, Emily Hargroves Fisher Professor of Education, Harvard University & author of The Good High School, Respect, and The Essential Conversation "At his core, Tom Sobol is a teacher. As Scarsdale School Board president during his superintendency, I learned with the other board members as Tom taught us his collaborative style was the way to get things done, and we learned that he loved the kids above all. Part memoir, part manual, this book teaches as it gives up Tom's secrets of how and why he has been such a force for good in education." --Carl H. Pforzheimer III, Former President of the Scarsdale Board of Education Scarsdale, New York "A wonderful account of a remarkable life, about a remarkable man committed to accomplishing the ultimate victory of Education for the Children of our Urban Cities." --Carlos Carballada, Former Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents "Tom Sobol has written a book--My Life in School. How wonderful it was to hear him tell his story-- a story so many of us have benefited from. From me it started in the 80s when we were trying to invent a public high school in East Harlem that wouldn't base itself on credit hours or Regents' exams! Instead we were one of the first Coalition of Essential Schools to try and see what happened if we carried out all nine (at that time) principles outlined by Ted Sizer. One of our staunchest allies had just become New York State's Commissioner of Education. It was a piece of luck, one I will be forever grateful for, because he was even better than his reputation. A new governor (Pataki) and serious health problems led him to resign ten years later. But during those ten years he spawned an experiment that lives on, although by a thread. Alas his successor put an end to a promising large-scale experiment in authentic forms in New York City. There aren't enough Tom Sobols. I never took a course from him at Columbia (where he went after leaving Albany), but I'm sure he was a very special teacher. His account of those years --including his experiences at Teachers College, are unusually frank and thoughtful. He never fooled himself about the uses and abuses that come with power, nor the moral responsibility that goes with it. Buy it and enjoy." --Debbie Meier, senior scholar at NYU's Steinhardt School, & Board member of the Coalition of Essential Schools, FairTest, SOS and Dissent and The Nation magazines. Thomas Sobol is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard University's School of Education. He received his doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Sobol was superintendent of schools in Scarsdale, New York, for sixteen years and New York State commissioner of education for eight years. At Teachers College, Tom Sobol served as Christian A. Johnson Professor of Outstanding Educational Practice. With his wife, Harriet Sobol, he is the co-author of Your Child in School K-2 (Arbor House, 1988) and Your Child in School 3-5 (Arbor House, 1987), and has published many articles. Harriet Langsam Sobol is Book Group Leader at Independent and Scarsdale Adult School. In addition to co-authoring books with her husband, Mrs. Sobol has written numerous books for children, among them: Jeff's Hospital Book; My Brother Steven Is Retarded; and My Other-Mother, My Other-Father. In addition to the Sobols, we welcome close colleagues who know Tom through political milestone events, especially the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit, supported by Tom, that ultimately brought billions of dollars in additional school funding to New York City. Expanding upon themes and events depicted in the memoir, discussants will share their stories and experiences in working with Tom Sobol. Jay Heubert is Professor of Law and Education and Faculty Chair, School Law Institute at Teachers College, Columbia University. Henry Levin is William H Kilpatrick Professor of Economics & Education at Teachers College. Gibran Majdalany, Tom Sobol’s longtime associate and amanuensis to whom -- along with Harriet Sobol-- the book is dedicated, is a Teachers College alumnus, former adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Organization and Leadership, and former deputy director of both the Superintendents Work Conference and Urban Education Leaders Program. Gary Natriello is Ruth L. Gottesman Professor of Educational Research; Professor of Sociology and Education; Executive Editor of the Teachers College Record; and Director of the Gottesman Libraries at Teachers College. Michael Rebell is Professor of Practice in Law and Education Policy at Teachers College and served as Executive Director of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE). Please rsvp via online support no later than Thursday, September 12th with your interest. Where: 306 Russell


Last Updated: 9:51 am, Thursday, Aug 1 , 2013