This volume uses excerpts from diaries (some of which are published here for the first time), pages from the official ghetto archives, decrees and speeches by Ghetto Chairman Mordechai Chaim Rumknowski, and official German documents to present a chronological and multiperspective view of myriad aspects of ghetto life. As the editors note in their introduction, "reading through the book chronologically, or using the index by authors to trace each voice seriatim, [the reader] will experience the progression of the war against the Jews as it advances through Europe's second-largest Jewish community" (xiii). Classroom teachers and students will find these readings highly informative, extremely fascinating, touching in their depiction of the Jews' travails, and easy to understand.
The core of the material presented in this volume comes from the archive of the Lodz Ghetto materials collected by noted scholar and survivor of the Lodz Ghetto Dr. Lucjan Dobroszycki, "whose life's work has been to bring the writing from the Lodz Ghetto to print" (ix). The editors note that they "conducted a worldwide search and...over ten thousand pages of material were translated during a three-year period" (xx).
Interspersed throughout the volume are more than 140 photographs taken inside the Lodz Ghetto. Many of these photos are published here for the first time. Most are black-and-white, but a stunning set of colored photographs is included as well. All of the photographs are fascinating and informative. Each one complements the text and, as a result, adds key insights into the plight of the Jews.
The excerpts from the various diaries (by such individuals as Oskar Singer, David Sierakowiak, Irena Liebman, and numerous unknown individuals) and monographs make this an invaluable book. Many, if not most, of the diaries were written in the dire hope that even if the writers did not survive, their words would. While some wrote their diaries as acts of protest or as acts of conscience, many also wrote in the hope that the descriptions, insights, and pleas would ultimately constitute a record both of what took place in the hearts and minds of individuals and of events in the larger community so that, ultimately, the entire world would be informed of the Nazis' horrific deeds. In light of the monstrous conditions with which the diarists were faced, all such efforts were truly Herculean.
As the editors duly and significantly note, the excerpts from the diaries in this volume are radically different from the memoirs and oral histories of survivors that were written and collected in the years following the liberation of the concentration and extermination camps:
Here there is no sense of knowing what is going to happen-little certainty among their subjects about the Nazis' plan. These accounts were not written with arrival at the death camp as their inevitable conclusion. Instead, we read of the instinctual struggle to hold on to human experience: family, art, education, sex, religion, hope. But also of the progressive loss of those values to grief, exhaustion, and starvation. (xiv)
This volume offers tremendous insight not only into the despicable motivations, goals, and actions of the Nazis but also into the horrific fears, terrible hope, and gargantuan struggle to retain both a shred of dignity in light of degradation and atrocities and the tremendous will to hold on to life itself. All in all, this is a magnificent book that provides a wealth of insights in a highly engaging manner about a historical period, location, and set of events that are often overlooked in a study of the Holocaust.
University of Arkansas
Invitational Teaching, Learning, and Living, by William Watson Purkey and Paula Helen Stanley. Washington, D.C.: National Education Association, 1991. 96 pp.$10.95 paper. Reviewed by M. Robert Hillenbrand.
Invitational Teaching, Learning and Living is a truly remarkable book. In it the authors offer a general conceptual framework for "inviting students to share and participate in the learning experience," suggesting practical IDEAs-"Inviting Descriptors of Exciting Activities"-that all teachers can use. For example, the "rule of four" states that the teacher is "usually wasting valuable energy when he or she is doing work that a student or volunteer could do just as well with four hours training or less" (18). Thus, teachers can truly model cooperative learning by assigning students to serve as materials people, task facilitators, and group recorders, for example. This allows teachers to focus on the essence of teaching, and to "invite" substantive participation from learners.
Purkey and Stanley suggest that teachers can structure their classes around four basic elements: trust, respect, optimism, and intentionality. They urge teachers to involve students in every phase of the learning process, trusting them to believe in themselves and the importance of their contributions to the learning process. Teachers are also urged to view respect in terms of mutuality, or the belief that "people are valuable and responsible and should be treated accordingly" (18). Think about how many times in our schools we communicate symbolic distrust with punitive measures and forbidding signs! Optimism, too, is crucial to teaching. It is the belief that students live up (or down) to the teacher's level of expectation. Finally, intentionality suggests that teachers consciously and professionally structure, plan and execute their lessons with the precision of a surgeon, thus communicating that we intend to make learning succeed.
This delightful text finishes with an overview of the "five Ps": people (creating a warm, supportive environment), places (making sunny, inviting classes), policies (creating workable rules and procedures), programs (curricular and extracurricular programs designed to meet the needs of the students), and process, (how something is done).
These are the precepts of "invitational teaching." I strongly recommend this book to every teacher at every level. It reminds us that our students are the real focus of our endeavors, and provides practical, enjoyable techniques to create inviting learning environments.
M. Robert Hillenbrand
Glen Ridge High School
Glen Ridge, New Jersey
Teaching Multicultural Children's Literature in Grades K-8, edited by Violet J. Harris. Norwood, Mass.: Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc., 1992. 296 pp. $29.95 hardcover. Reviewed by Kathy B. Phillips.
The late James Baldwin asserted that "Literature is indispensable to the world....The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way a person looks at reality, then you can change it." That is the underlying purpose of multicultural education, to change the world by making it a more equitable one. Multicultural literature can be a powerful vehicle for accomplishing that task. (51)
It is difficult to find quality resources in textbook format to prepare children for survival in our pluralistic society. Thus, Violet J. Harris's Teaching Multicultural Literature in Grades K-8 will be welcomed by practitioners and researchers alike.
The author aims to provide information concerning literature by and about minorities that is applicable in the classroom. To narrow the range of ethnicities, Harris focuses on "those who are most excluded and marginalized, people of color" (xvi). Harris provides the reader with insight into African-American, Asian Pacific American, Native American, and Caribbean literature appropriate for children. Through her writing and editorship, Harris targets those minorities whose members are increasing in the United States-the minorities that classroom teachers are serving in schools today.
In the first chapter, "The Politics of Children's Literature: Reflections of Multiculturalism, Political Correctness, and Christopher Columbus," Joel Taxel establishes the mood of the text. Biased yet generally accepted examples are cited, demonstrating the need for critical analysis of materials prior to instruction. Using Columbus's "accomplishments" as a basis, Taxel guides the reader through Columbus's voyages and conquests from a nontraditional, minority oriented viewpoint, encouraging reevaluation of the perspective presented about the "discovery" of the Americas.
In "Multicultural Literature for Children: Making Informed Choices," Rudine Sims Bishop provides the reader with "information that will enable teachers to make careful, informed and sensitive choices from among the increasing numbers of books being published as multicultural literature" (40). Bishop categorizes and exemplifies culturally authentic, "universal," and culturally neutral multicultural literature.
The remaining chapters focus on selected minority groups, citing specific selections, authors, and illustrators. Each author attempts to share the uniqueness of specific cultures through suggested teaching strategies, discussion questions, and references.
The book concludes with "Sources in Multicultural Literature," a valuable listing that includes the names and addresses of presses that publish multicultural literature for children, bookstores that sell such literature, organizations that promote multiculturalism, and titles of professional journals that present articles and annotated bibliographies about multicultural children's literature.
Given the current interest in multiculturalism, Teaching Multicultural Literature in Grades K-8 is a timely contribution. Although the book's focus is limited to people of color, it nonetheless serves as an excellent tool for researchers, as a quality textbook for graduate and undergraduate students, and as an excellent resource for practitioners.
Kathy B. Phillips
College of Education
University of Oklahoma
An Aristocracy of Everyone: The Politics of Education and the Future of America, by Benjamin R. Barber. New York: Ballentine Books, 1992. 291 pp. Reviewed by Linda S. Levstik.
In the current controversy over what should be taught, when it should be taught, and by whom, the lines of debate have too often been drawn in terms of cultural literacy versus multiculturalism, as if one position holds the high ground of educational excellence and the other barely manages a mediocre inclusiveness. In An Aristocracy of Everyone, Benjamin R. Barber makes a powerful case for recasting the terms of the debate. He argues that a society defined by multiculturalism, such as the United States, cannot afford an elitist system in which excellence is the province of the few and mediocrity the lot of the masses:
The object of public schools is not to credential the educated but to educate the uncredentialed; that is, to change and transform pupils, not merely to exploit their strengths. The challenge in a democracy is to transform every child into an apt pupil, and give every pupil the chance to become an autonomous, thinking person and a deliberative, self-governing citizen: that is to say, to achieve excellence. (12)
At a time when governmental leaders advocate the privatization of education, Barber argues for the fundamental importance of public schooling-"the only place where, as a collective, self-conscious public pursuing common goods, we try to shape our children to live in a democratic world" (15). In his view, history is crucial to this enterprise. Although the stories about our collective past that we tell ourselves, teach our children, or choose to deny serve to anchor us in the past, they are also subject to constant revision.
Unlike the canon mythologized by Hirsch and Bloom and their intellectual compatriots, Barber advocates a "loose canon" that is "a distilled version of the past...authored by the forebears of our culture....It is always a contentious and controversial story or set of stories, and consequently it always changes radically over time." If we fix the canon or make it so loose as the leave us with no stories by which to define ourselves, we "uproot memory and live in the world as arbitrarily self-created beings" (25). Barber proposes a middle ground between these positions, avoiding what he sees as the excesses of both the radical right and the radical left. He proposes an educational system grounded in a multicultural society that teaches democratic citizenship and provides students regular opportunities for community service.
An Aristocracy of Everyone is well worth reading. The case for teaching democracy in a multicultural society is especially powerful. Barber is weakest, however, when he tries to describe appropriate classroom practices, especially for younger children. He fails to envision a setting in which lecture and discussion is not the primary mode, and so describes leading discussions in which only one person speaks. He advocates teaching that holds any historical account up to scrutiny, yet decides that "semi-mythologized tales" of historical figures have "a useful place in the developmental curriculum" for young children (139). But the value of this book is not so much in the pedagogy it suggests, or in the community service it advocates, important as that is. Barber is at his most persuasive when he argues for a public education for democratic citizenship that recognizes both the benefits of historical memory regularly scrutinized and the centrality of diversity to the U.S. society into which our children are being initiated.
Linda S. Levstik
University of Kentucky
Who's Doing What? A Directory of U.S. Organizations and Institutions: Education about Development and Other Global Issues, by the National Clearinghouse on Development Education of the American Forum for Global Education. 2d ed. New York: Author, 1991. 273 pp. $23.00. Reviewed by Merry M. Merryfield.
If social studies teachers are to improve their instruction about the issues facing the world today, they and their students must have access to high-quality, current information. Few textbooks provide in-depth content or up-to-date information on development or global issues. The National Clearinghouse on Development Education of the American Forum for Global Education collects and disseminates such information as a part of its many services to educators.
Who's Doing What?, one of NCODE's valuable resources for social studies educators, provides an overview of 249 organizations and educational programs in the United States that contribute to "education for global, sustainable, just and inclusive change." Organizations such as councils on world affairs, specialty publishers and publisher services, national resource centers, international studies programs, and organizations working with issues such as health, human rights, hunger, peace, and the environment are included. Listed in alphabetical order, each profile provides data on the organization's background (type of organization, focus, history/ goals, and regional offices) and its educational programs (a contact person, staff size, inception date, program scope, educational activities, audience, geographic focus, themes, services, and funding). Indices that cross-reference organizations by area focus and by state contribute to the directory's usefulness.
Teachers I work with have noted two areas of concern. Although the profiles include the broad categories "publications" and "curriculum development," they do not offer sufficient information for an educator to decide whether appropriate instructional materials are available. A follow-up letter or telephone call is a must. Second, given the controversial nature of global education, it is important that social studies teachers recognize that many of the organizations listed are organizations with a special interest or a particular point of view. Although materials from advocacy groups can be excellent resources for teaching about the world, such materials may be criticized by concerned parents or community groups as biased or providing an incomplete portrayal of the issue. Teachers need to evaluate materials and services from the directory as critically as they would any other source's.
Given the paucity of publications with such a wide scope, Who's Doing What? is an excellent resource for all of us who are trying to keep up with and teach about a changing world.
Merry M. Merryfield
The Ohio State University