Book Reviews

Book Reviews

Social Policy on the Cusp: Values, Institutions and Change

“People engage with each other through the rules of their respective societies and around shared understandings. The essential bargain is that people are willing to give up some freedoms and adhere to taxation because they receive some public goods and protections from legal systems. Social tensions arise when the rewards of sociality accrue systematically in imbalanced ways to some and not others, when there are built-in social inequalities, prejudices, and short-shrifting. In an age of change into the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), what are some ways to re-jigger social agreements to better meet the needs of all citizens, in an Enlightenment approach? How can universal human dignity be achieved, with social and economic justice for all? These are the issues that Brij Mohan and Guy Bäckman (with contributions by Stan Weeber and Eleni Makri) engage in Social Policy on the Cusp: Values, Institutions and Change (2020), a collection which is simultaneously naively idealistic and practical, informed by 20th century history and a mish-mash of ideologies, and ultimately informed by the practice of general social critique…Social Policy on the Cusp: Values, Institutions and Change (2020) evokes the idea that all people have an ideology, a sense of the universe and their place in it, based on their unique experiences and personalities. This work suggests the state of the world is not a given; it is non-static and can be changed. The contributors highlight the importance of vision and motivation to make lasting constructive societal changes. In the same way that ideas have consequences, in-world realities can also affect ideas—for those who are attentive…READ MORE
Shalin Hai-Jew for C2C Digital Magazine (Spring/Summer 2020)
Instructional Designer
Kansas State University

Intersectionality: Concepts, Perspectives and Challenges

“For a democracy to thrive in a pluralistic society, the pathways to opportunities should be open to all equally, with level playing fields and mitigations against stereotyping and exclusion. This should especially be so in institutions of higher education, which can be the differences not only for individual lives but for societies as a whole. There are benefits to including creative and divergent thinkers and doers. One step in this direction is to better understand social relationships in society, including problem areas that may need attention. Thomas Moeller’s Intersectionality: Concepts, Perspectives and Challenges (2020) is comprised of three works surround the issue of “intersectionality,” as a way of understanding people’s complex identities and embodied experiences and their social statuses (or its lack) in contemporary societies.  As a term, “intersectionality” is a highly contested one. Intersectionality, as a framework, refers to “how aspects of one’s social and political identities (e.g., gender, race, class, sexuality, disability, etc.) might combine to create unique modes of discrimination” (“Intersectionality,” Feb. 15, 2020); the insights from this approach are used to help address combined discriminatory injustices, given the real-world complexities of human interrelationships…Humans are complex beings, and triply so with the overlays of socialization and cultural dimensions. Social identities are constantly evolving along with societies, and engaging these with empirical knowledge can be powerful in building more equitable and just and inclusive societies, for the benefit of all…READ MORE
Shalin Hai-Jew for C2C Digital Magazine (Spring/Summer 2020)
Instructional Designer
Kansas State University

New Frontiers in Creativity

“Shulamith Kreitler’s New Frontiers in Creativity has collected the work of international experts from “Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Italy, Israel, Portugal, Romania, Russia, and USA,” and they bring fresh methods to the study of creativity, including neurophysiology, statistics, and mathematics (Kreitler, 2020, p. x); they also identify greater ranges of populations who create “ranging from the dyslexic to the elderly” (p. x), and they address a range of domains in which creativity is newly applied. This book is comprised of three parts: Creativity from Specific Perspectives (Part 1), Creativity in Specific Populations (Part 2), and Creativity in Specific Domains (Part 3). New Frontiers in Creativity is an ambitious collection of insightful works that wrangle with complex issues of human creativity in general and in specific domains. While many of the 13 chapters are based on informed deep literature reviews, some works share primary (qualitative) research. These chapters offer fresh insights to creativity theorizing, research, and applied practice…READ MORE
Shalin Hai-Jew for C2C Digital Magazine (Spring Summer 2020)
Instructional Designer
Kansas State University

Future Space Problems and Their Solutions

The book is very impressive. Joseph J. Smulsky considers grandiose projects: the optimal approach of the spacecraft to the Sun, the transformation of asteroids into satellites of the Earth, the creation of new planets like the Earth, etc. Without doubt that the space agencies will use the solutions and soft, which are discussed and presented in the book. That will raise the computation culture in the area under consideration.”
Michael P. Anisimov
Dr. Sc. in Physics and Mathematics, Leading Research Scientist, Head of the Nanoaerosol Laboratory, Siberian Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences Novosibirsk, Russia;
Research Professor, Clarkson University, NY, USA

“Today it is customary to speak of the Universe as a product of the Big Bang, which gave rise to the mystery of dark matter, expanding Universe and other tempting but badly comprehend realities. Joseph J. Smulsky gives the chance to feel harmony of the world, to see it in the image of reasonable classical simplicity peculiar to Isaak Newton’s mechanics. The elegance of simplicity and the complexity of the system appear in their mathematically comprehended unity.”
Vladislav V. Cheshev
Professor of the National Research Tomsk State University, Russia

“The problems of gravitational interaction of bodies are extremely diverse. The author considers the situations most significant for the space exploration and to the preservation of life conditions on the Earth-planet. The developed program Galactica can be of interest for professionals and students of the relevant specialties, as for as it allows to apply the received data for the analysis of various problems of celestial mechanics.”
Boris F. Boyarshinov
Doctor of Technical Sciences
Institute of Thermophysics, SB RAS
Novosibirsk, Russia

“Environment and human well-being are due to many factors, including the influence of movements of cosmic bodies both in the Solar system and beyond. The proposed monograph provides an excellent opportunity to predict the motion and rotation of planets, to optimize the flights of spaceships by means of a sufficiently simple to assimilate the program Galactica. A lot of worries are caused by possible collisions of comets and asteroids with the Earth. The examples of the most dangerous two asteroids show the capabilities of the Galactica program to calculate their evolution. These opportunities are wider than they are presented in the book. But even what is given impresses with its multifaceted tasks and their scale.”
Nicolay E. Shishkin
Doctor of Technical Sciences
Institute of Thermophysics, SB RAS
Novosibirsk, Russia

“In the newly published monograph “A New Astronomical Theory of the Ice Ages”, the author considers the problem as a whole within the time range of 20 million years. The material of the book is presented in the form that is easy to understand by broad masses of readers. The main results related to solution of differential equations of the orbital and rotational movements of the Earth are presented at the end of the book and in the Appendix…READ MORE
V.E. Zharov
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Faculty of Physics, Department of Celestial Mechanics, Astrometry and Gravimetry
Published in Earth’s Cryosphere Scientific Journal 2019

Click here for a Review in Russian by L.M. Green, Academician and Published in Earth and the Universe, 5/2019

Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Music Education

“The chapters form a unified whole, making the monograph of interest to both experts in the field of music education; students; as well as experts from many other areas (visual art, poetry, movement, language, dance, sciences and history). The most prominent feature of the monograph is interdisciplinarity and a link between science and art, which is particularly welcome to everyone who wants to go beyond the established deliminations of individual scientific disciplines or artistic (musical) fields.”
Dr. Marija Javornik Krečič
Associate Professor of Didactics at UM

“Based on specified various approaches and ideas of the contemporary field of interdisciplinarity in the context of music education, scientific publication the Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Music Education represents an important contribution to the existing knowledge in this field. The authors have approached this issue through original research ideas and considered this phenomenon from different points-of-view. Accordingly, collecting various perspective attitudes, beliefs and new and authentic research methods, the obtained results revealed special scientific value of this work, that will be of interest to the target scientific audience in the artistic and other fields as well.”
Blaženka Bačljija Sušić
University of Zagreb

“The book, scientific monograph, Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Music Education points to diversity and fusion in integrating different subjects with music in music education. It is of interest to the wider population (teachers, music teachers, students who touch music in their faculty programmes).”
Ivana Paula Gortan-Carlin
Juraj Dobrila University of Pula
Faculty of Educational Sciences

Ethics in Higher Education

“Professions have rules and guidelines that define the standards of practice. It is the responsibility of programs in higher education that prepare persons for the professions to imbue the profession’s standards and to assure that those standards have been learned and practiced. While most books on ethics in the Academy are of a general nature, Ethics in Higher Education focuses on professional preparation in the fields of education and Speech-Language Pathology. The book’s editors and chapter authors provide literature reviews and practices that offer a general discussion of ethics in teacher preparation programs and for clinical practitioners in the Speech-Language Pathology professions. Taken as a whole, the book’s content gives a good overview of ethics standards detailed by professional associations and accrediting bodies in general and in the areas of teacher education and Speech-Language Pathology preparation. In addition, comprehensive documentation of research related to standards and practices in preparing practitioners in these areas is provided. Suggestions for additional or improved preparation practices supported by research (e.g., best practices) are offered. The topic of ethics and ethical practice is particularly relevant in today’s political context. We are trying to address a history of racism and other ethical issues, including those related to the management of a pandemic. These circumstances make it all the more important for professionals to practice in an ethical manner that recognizes the needs of all individuals. The comprehensive literature reviews in each chapter in the book can inform our understanding of today’s ethical challenges in the preparation of professionals and strategies for addressing them. Three chapters in particular speak more directly to the need to educate the next generation of practitioners in sound ethical practices. These chapters focus on academic honesty (chapter 2), cultural competence in teaching diverse students (chapter 4), and strategies for addressing students’ diverse learning needs (chapter 5). All chapters provide recommendations for strategies to use in teaching ethical practices. There are several audiences for this book. These include Education and Speech-Language Pathology doctoral students preparing to teach in higher education settings, current faculty in higher education, and administrators in higher education who are responsible for overseeing preparation programs. The book makes a compelling case for improving both the programs that prepare professionals and the development of faculty responsible for the preparation.”
David S. Hill, Ed.D.
Faculty Emeritus
SUNY College at Plattsburgh

Vitis: Biology and Species

“This book is a fascinating journey into the viticultural world and biodiversity, jealously guarded by man starting from the Mediterranean, in the oceans, islands and continents. The authors narrate the symbiosis of man and Vitis, the most generous genus, in which rural and scientific knowledge are admirably reflected and fruitful technological innovations ripen. The reading invites, with a look at the past, to appreciate the inestimable values preserved in the wine-growing landscapes and, at the same time, look with confidence to the future, inspired by the search for harmony between man and nature.”
Prof. Adamo Domenico Rombolà
Professor of Viticulture
University of Bologna

Experiencing Hospitality

This edited book has a great line up of international contributors renowned for their work in hospitality studies. The book provides a useful cross-disciplinary resource for students, academics and practitioners interested in understanding and theorising hospitality within a commercial context…READ MORE
Professor Alison McIntosh
School of Hospitality and Tourism
Auckland University of Technology
New Zealand

“Bill Rowson and Conrad Lashley are two authoritative voices who do not need a further presentation in the fields of hospitality. In this occasion, they present an edited book, which entitles experiencing hospitality. This editorial project, recently released by the leading publisher Nova Science, gathers 12 chapters oriented to build a bridge between theory and practice. Of course, the term hospitality not only denotes different significations – such as the dichotomy between commercial or non-commercial typologies – but also the figure of the hotel embodies ancient anthropological rites where hospitality occupies a central position, while it represents a unit for profits (for the hotel-owner). Hence, the book is a useful tool kit for social scientists and practitioners in the hospitality industry…READ MORE
Maximiliano E. Korstanje
University of Palermo

The Next Big Thing in Education

The world changes dramatically right in front of our eyes in almost any way possible. As we witness these dramatic events we may ask ourselves – “what’s next?”. That is exactly the question we posed to leading experts, academicians, leaders, and practitioners in the field of education. And they answered. The result is this book – a collection of ideas, directions for future thought and action, from some of the leading minds in education. Contributions to this book come from various disciplines, different countries and cultures, and take varying perspectives on the seemingly simple question asked “what, in your opinion, is the next big thing in education?”. Authors noted opportunities and challenges, had words of caution as well as advice and encouragement. This book may be of interest to educational researchers, policy-makers, administrators practitioners as well as students of teaching, pedagogy and education. Readers are invited to peruse the leaves of this anthology, and gain insight, new ideas, identify trends in the making and perhaps gain a tiny glimpse of the future of things to come.

Communication and Mental Health Promotion in Early Childhood Education

This book makes a significant contribution to international literature on communication and mental health promotion in an early childhood education context. More specifically, this book presents in-depth insights into the dynamics of communication and the capacity of developing mental health promotion within the context of preschool and early childhood education. The book, although not a teacher’s guide, provides useful information that will help teachers, parents, caregivers, professionals of psychology and sociology fields as well as student teachers to better understand such issues as communication problems and mental health promotion, which, unfortunately are quite prevalent in schools, even in the early grades. The chapters offer theoretical originality along with practical ideas that help inform the careful reader. Thus, from theory to practice and back again, this book will reward readers, who will better understand the centrality of interpersonal relationships and communication through mental health promotion. Such an understanding is quite crucial in improving teaching and parenting quality in most, if not all, of their issues.