Social and Cultural Foundations of American Education/Foreword

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This is a textbook created and edited as part of an education course, ECI 301, at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. The book's primary contributors have been undergraduate, pre-service teachers.

Our goals for this project are manifold, but I would like to take a minute to highlight some of those that we consider most important. First, we want to prove that a student-authored textbook can be of a quality equal to that of a traditional textbook. After all, it seems counter-intuitive to imagine that students could learn from a textbook that is too sophisticated for them to have written themselves. Furthermore, this text should serve as proof that, due to the vast availability of information via the Internet, traditional textbooks written by intellectual elites are no longer necessary to the same degree they were before the Information Age. Next, the process of creating this text will serve to empower pre-service teachers with knowledge of technology and other skills such as effective communication and self-/peer-editing that will serve them well when they enter the classroom later, as teachers.

If you have stumbled onto this book by mistake, we encourage you to take a few minutes and read a chapter or two. After reading, feel free to click the blue rating buttons at the bottom of each page. This will help us identify the highest- and lowest-quality sections.

Each section of each chapter of this book was researched and developed by the students. Several versions of the articles were developed by different individuals, both within the same class and over several semesters. The students evaluated their peers' articles to determine which ones were the most useful and those versions are the ones seen linked from the contents page of each chapter.