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Monday, March 26, 2012

Women's Power in Late Medieval Romance

Amy Vines, assistant professor in UNCG's English Department, wrote Women's Power in Late Medieval Romance. The publisher explains:

"The cultural and social power of women in the middle ages is perhaps hard to trace, with evidence for it scarce. This book argues that medieval romances provide a central, but under-explored, source for and examples of such authority. By reassessing the influence exerted by female characters, in a spectrum that includes both intellectual and chivalric aid and, in some cases, patronage, it considers how they functioned as models of cultural, intellectual, and social authority in medieval literary texts. In addition to examples set by the family connections, socio-political networks, and textual communities in which they lived, this study argues that women also learned methods of influence from the books they read. In texts like Troilus and Criseyde and Partonope of Blois, the female reader encounters an explicit demonstration of how a woman`s intellectual and financial resources can be used. The literary representations of women`s cultural power expose a continuum of influence from non-material effects to material sway in the medieval patronage system, an influence often unacknowledged in strictly historical and extra-literary sources."

Women's Power in Late Medieval Romance includes chapters such as: 1. Prophecy as Social Influence: Cassandra, Anne Neville, and the Corpus Christi Manuscript of Troilus and Criseyde -- 2. The Science of Female Power in John Metham's Amoryus and Cleopes -- 3. A Woman's "Crafte": Sexual and Chivalric Patronage in Partonope of Blois -- 4. Creative Revisions: Competing Figures of the Patroness in Thomas Chestre's Sir Launfal.

Developing Critical Cultural Competence: A Guide for 21st-Century Educators

Associate Professor Jewel Cooper, Assistant Professor Ye He, and Professor and Assistant Department Chair Barbara B. Levin, each a faculty member of the Department of Teacher Education and Higher Education at UNCG, wrote the book Developing Critical Cultural Competence.  Denise Carlson, Curriculum Consultant Heartland Area Education Agency, Johnston, IA said “As I read this book, it became clear that my long-held belief about the meaning of cultural competence needed a makeover. I am now convinced that my personal definition of diversity should embrace a much deeper appreciation of differences and transformative action.”

The publisher's website provides information about the content of the book:

"Cultural competence is key to improved student achievement
The increasingly diverse nature of today’s schools and the need to increase the achievement of all students, no matter their background, requires 21st-century teachers to develop critical cultural competence. Looking at data is not enough. We have to know who our students are! This book shows you how to provide professional development that deepens teachers' cultural understanding. Developing Critical Cultural Competence helps educators translate new knowledge into action with activities that focus on the three inseparable insights required for developing teachers’ critical cultural competency:
  • Understanding themselves
  • Understanding their students
  • Understanding their students’ families and communities
In addition to the activities are reflection questions, group discussion questions, online extensions for facilitators, and a sample professional development plan. A companion website provides reproducible resource lists and handouts as well as examples that can serve as models for some of the activities."

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Letting Go? Sharing Historical Authority in a User-Generated World

David Carr, author of Open Conversations: Public Learning in Libraries and Museums says “Technically, historical authority has always been shared with the public, but the expert public voice has not always been able to break through the practiced illusions of monumental scholarship and hallowed history. The marvelous and inspiring examples in Letting Go? will shape the aspirations of the future history museum as its practice leaders readjust their grip on ideas of authority. It will also guide institutions as they fulfill the next steps after letting go: reaching out, embracing lives, and reflecting, in the presence of the past and each other, on the complex beauties of our culture. This is a book about becoming something together, our most important process as human beings.”

The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage explains "Letting Go? investigates path-breaking public history practices at a time when the traditional expertise of museums and historical institutions is constantly challenged by evolving trends in technology, community-based programming, oral histories, and contemporary art. The anthology features 26 newly commissioned thought pieces, case studies, conversations, and artworks by 19 leading cultural practitioners...Drawing on examples from history, art, and science museums, Letting Go? offers concrete examples of “shared” authority between institutions and audiences, as well as models for innovative integration of public curation and participation."

One of the editors of Letting Go? is Director of Public History/Associate Professor Benjamin Filene. Dr. Filene is part of UNCG's Department of History.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Words Their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction

The publisher says "The developmentally driven Words Their Way instructional approach is a phenomenon in word study, providing a practical way to study words with students. The keys to this successful, research-based approach are to know your students’ literacy progress, organize for instruction, and implement word study."

Associate Professor in UNCG's Department of Teacher Education and Higher Education, Dr. Francine Johnston is one of the authors of Words Their Way. The publisher explains that 5th edition of this book has been updated with some of the features seen below.  

  • Ground-breaking online PDToolkit for Words Their Way™ gives educators access to:
      • all new how-to classroom videos
      • interactive classroom assessment tool featuring new user-friendly navigation
      • prepared and create-your-own word sorts
      • games, templates, and more!
    • Complimentary 6-month access packaged with each new Fifth Edition
    • To learn more, please visit:
  • Innovative redesign of the book introduces technology integration aligning text to online videos, sorts, and assessments specific to each chapter.
  • Unprecedented inclusion of progress monitoring throughout the book.
  • Brand-new continuum of support model offers tips for better planning and carrying out word study lessons in the classroom.
  • Expanded discussion on oral vocabulary, secondary instruction, writing, and early/middle/late phases in the derivational relations stage.
  • Updated collection of classroom activities helps build the skills students need to move on to the next developmental stage.
  • New “Resources for Implementing Word Study in Your Classroom” provides information about resources teachers can use in their instruction.
  • Enhanced coverage of English learners provides tips and strategies for modifying instruction.
  • Classroom-ready appendices contain all the assessment instruments described in Chapter 2 as well as word sorts, sound boards, and game templates to get instruction underway.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Critical Issues in Peace and Conflict Studies : Theory, Practice, and Pedagogy

Dr. Thomas Matyók, who is currently an assistant professor in the Conflict and Peace Studies program at UNCG,  is one of the editors of the book Critical Issues in Peace and Conflict Studies: Theory, Practice, and Pedagogy. The publisher’s website explains that the field of  Peace and Conflict Studies (PCS) is one that “includes scholars and practitioners throughout the world working in peace studies, conflict analysis and resolution, conflict management, appropriate dispute resolution, and peace and justice studies. They come to the PCS field with a diversity of ideas, approaches, disciplinary roots, and topic areas, which speaks to the complexity, breadth, and depth needed to apply and take account of conflict dynamics and the goal of peace.” They go on to explain that “Critical Issues in Peace and Conflict Studies: Theory, Practice, and a collection of essays that explores a number of these issues, providing a means by which academics, students, and practitioners can develop various methods to confront the complexity of contemporary conflicts.

Critical Issues in Peace and Conflict Studies discusses the emerging field of PCS, and suggests a framework for the future development of the field and the education of its practitioners and academics. The book has a wide audience targeting students at the undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate levels. It also extends to those working in and leading community conflict resolution efforts as well as humanitarian aid workers.” 
Two of Dr. Matyók’s colleagues, Dr. Sherril Hayes, also an assistant professor in Conflict and Peace Studies at UNCG, and Dr. Peter Kellett, an associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies at UNCG, also contributed to the book. Jackson Library has both a print and electronic copy of this work.