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Routledge Education Textbook Authors of the Month, January: Sadovnik, Cookson, & Semel

The fourth edition of Exploring Education: An Introduction to the Foundations of Education, by Alan R. Sadovnik, Peter Cookson, Jr., and Susan Semel, just published this month. This much-anticipated updated edition of Exploring Education offers an alternative to traditional foundations texts by combining a point-of-view analysis with primary source readings. 

Alan R. Sadovnik is Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor of Education, Sociology and Public Administration and Affairs at Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey, where he is the Co- Director of the Institute on Educational Law and Policy and the Newark Schools Research Collaborative, and Coordinator of the Educational Policy track of the Ph.D. Program in Urban Systems. 

The most powerful influence in Peter W. Cookson, Jr.'s career has been a life-long passion for equality of educational opportunity.  Peter W. Cookson, Jr. teaches at Teachers College, Columbia University, USA, and is President of Ideas without Borders in Washington, DC, USA. 

Susan F. Semel is Professor of Education at the City College of New York, where she served as Chair of the Department of Secondary Education for a decade and also Professor of Urban Education at the CUNY Graduate Center. 

Alan R. Sadovnik is Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor of Education, Sociology and Public Administration and Affairs at Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey, where he is the Co- Director of the Institute on Educational Law and Policy and the Newark Schools Research Collaborative, and Coordinator of the Educational Policy track of the Ph.D. Program in Urban Systems. He received his B.A. in sociology from Queens College of the City University of New York and M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from New York University. He previously taught at Adelphi University, where he was Dean of the School of Education from 1996-1998. Among his publications are: the author of Equity and Excellence in Higher Education (1995); coauthor of Exploring Education: An Introduction to the Foundations of Education (1994, 2001, 2006, 2013); editor of Knowledge and Pedagogy: The Sociology of Basil Bernstein (1995) and Sociology of Education: A Critical Reader (2007, 2011); International Handbook of Educational Reform (1992), Implementing Educational Reform: Sociological Perspectives on Educational Reform (1995), “Schools of Tomorrow,” Schools of Today: What Happened to Progressive Education (1999), Sociology and Education: An Encyclopedia (2002), Founding Mothers and Others: Women Educational Leaders During the Progressive Era (2002), No Child Left Behind and the Reduction of the Achievement Gap: Sociological Perspectives on Federal Educational Policy (2008 and Toolkits, Translation Devices and Conceptual Accounts: Essays on Basil Bernstein's Sociology of Knowledge (2010), as well as dozens of journal articles, book chapters and urban educational policy reports. He has served on the editorial boards of The American Education Research Journal, Teachers College Record, History of Educational Quarterly and The Urban Review and Sociology of Education and Educational Foundations. He has given keynote addresses at the University of Hong Kong, the Institute of Education at the University of London, and Griffith University in Australia. 

The most powerful influence in Peter W. Cookson, Jr.'s career has been a life-long passion for equality of educational opportunity. After teaching in public and private schools, I entered graduate school to study sociology. Through the discipline of social science, I have developed a body of work that examines the causes and consequences of unequal educational opportunities. One of the hallmarks of my work is the examination of the educational organizations of the upper class and how inequality is perpetuated organizationally, culturally and socially through the stratification of educational opportunities.

I am a staunch supporter of public education and have argued over time and in many different venues that the preservation and improvement of public education is the foundation of American democracy. My research has been conducted nationally and internationally; I estimate that I have visited over 400 schools and interviewed over a thousand educators in the last two decades. Many of my findings have been published in the scholarly and popular press. I am a regular blogger for the Huffington Post and Education Sector, where I am a Senior Fellow. I have authored and co-authored over 15 books on education and education reform. Some of the most notable include: Preparing for Power: America’s Elite Boarding Schools (Basic); Expect Miracles: Charter Schools and the Politics of Hope and Despair (Westview); School Choice: The Struggle for Soul Of American Education (Yale); Making Sense of Society (HarperCollins); Exploring Education (Routledge); Sacred Trust: A Children’s Education Bill of Rights (Corwin), Hearts on Fire: Stories of Todays’ Visionaries Igniting Idealism into Action (Random House), and a memoir The Red Cadillac (Amazon Single). In 2013 Cradles of Class: American High Schools and Enduring Inequality (Teachers College Press) and Blended Learning: Creating the Classrooms of Tomorrow Today (ASCD) will be published.

Lately, I have expanded my research agenda in an effort to understand the educational possibilities inherent in the knowledge explosion as it is driven by the revolution in communication. I am developing the concept of ultra-intelligence; I am currently completing a study of the learning styles of digital natives and how classrooms should change to meet and exceed the learning needs of today’s and tomorrow’s students.

I believe that we are at the edge of a great educational transformation. My recent work can be characterized as searching for a unifying transformational ideal that will liberate learning and allow all students to develop their talents and be come positive active citizens and leaders.  

Susan F. Semel is Professor of Education at the City College of New York, where she served as Chair of the Department of Secondary Education for a decade and also Professor of Urban Education at the CUNY Graduate Center. Previously, she taught at Adelphi and Hofstra Universities and for over two decades taught history at the prestigious Dalton School in New York City. Among her publications are The Dalton School: The Transformation of a Progressive School (1992); coauthor of Exploring Education: An Introduction to the Foundations of Education (1994, 2001, 2006, 2013); editor of Foundations of Education: The Essential Texts (2010) and coeditor of Toolkits, Translation Devices and Conceptual Accounts: Essays on Basil Bernstein's Sociology of Knowledge (2010); “Schools of Tomorrow,” Schools of Today: What Happened to Progressive Education (1999) and Founding Mothers and Others: Women Educational Leaders During the Progressive Era (2002) and International Handbook of Educational Reform (1992), as well as dozens of journal articles and book chapters. She has received Critics Choice Awards from the American Educational Studies Association, in 1993 for The Dalton School, in 2000 for "Schools of Tomorrow..." and in 2003 for Founding Mothers and Others and two Spencer Foundation grants for her research on the City and Country School in New York City and the transition to coeducation at Wheaton College in Norton MA. She is coeditor, with Alan R. Sadovnik, of the History of Schools and Schooling series at Peter Lang Publishing, the Palgrave Studies in Urban Education at Palgrave-MacMillan and the Schooling Around the World Series at Greenwood Press. She has served on the editorial boards of History of Education Quarterly, Educational Foundations and the Urban Review. She has given keynote addresses at the International Standing Conference for the History of Education and the University of Hong Kong.

Related Products

  1. Exploring Education

    An Introduction to the Foundations of Education, 4th Edition

    By Alan R. Sadovnik, Peter W. Cookson, Jr., Susan F. Semel

    This much-anticipated fourth edition of Exploring Education offers an alternative to traditional foundations texts by combining a point-of-view analysis with primary source readings. Pre- and in-service teachers will find a solid introduction to the foundations disciplines -- history, philosophy,...

    Published January 7th 2013 by Routledge