Education in America: Perspectives, Challenges and Opportunities


Series: Education in a Competitive and Globalizing World
BISAC: EDU003000

Throughout American history, education has served as an institution of support, safety, growth, stability, and has risen to serve the public in times of great national need. In 2020, educational institutions have demonstrated the strength of schools, the creativity and innovative practices of educators, and the public’s desire and need for compulsory and higher education to support the youth of America to lead the nation in new directions. Yet, despite the work of educators and even entire institutions, schools, colleges, and universities in the United States are still deeply flawed and in need of support for continued growth to meet the needs of the public in the 21st century. We are living in tumultuous times, whether the challenges come from known enemies, internal social unrest, vicious politics and lacking leadership, discrimination in multiple forms, and a global, deadly pandemic, the difficulties that face members of the American community are deeply entrenched and are positioned to be a formidable force for the foreseeable future. Until the institution, its leaders, and policy-makers acknowledge the relationship between these challenges and the needs of the youth, education’s most important asset, the teachers, are left to fight a battle that cannot be won by individual effort. The future of American education depends upon institutionalized changes in how youth and adults are prepared to be active, participative, members of society. The works in this collection highlight vulnerabilities in education, focusing on matters of social justice; each chapter contributes measures to confront injustices in education and offers resolutions. The needs are clear, the works are persuasive, and the recommendations applicable.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



Chapter 1. Origins of the Great Divide: Educational Inequities in the Country’s Youngest Learners
(Michelle Plaisance, PhD, Greensboro College, Greensboro, NC, USA)

Chapter 2. Supporting Immigrant Students as an Institutional Agent: Challenges, Dead Ends and Small Successes
(Elena King, Greensboro College, Greensboro, NC, USA)

Chapter 3. Historical Memory and Modern Meaning: A Juxtaposition of Presidential Discourse regarding Higher Education, 1789 to 1825 and 2008 to 2018
(Allison L. Palmadessa, Greensboro College, Greensboro, NC, USA)

Chapter 4. American Higher Education History and Shared Responsibility for Inclusive Campus Cultures
(Detric E. Robinson-Miller, Elon University, NC, USA)

Chapter 5. Can I Get a Witness? A Case Study of Self Care Practices as an Act of Radical Social Justice for Social Justice and Diversity Professionals in Higher Education
(Cherrel Miller Dyce, PhD, Brandy Propst and Brianna Balady, Elon University, Elon, NC, USA)

Chapter 6. LGBT Competent Training for Physical Health Practitioners in Professional Education Programs
(Déja Fitzgerald, Reed College, Portland, OR, USA)



“Vulnerable people deserve the attention of scholars. In this manuscript, Palmadessa and her colleagues offer us analyses based on the fundamental premise that education may still be a source for creating equity among all people. They provide social and historical analyses of education as an institution that can be steadfastly embedded as a virtuous American institution. Their uncompromising commitment to the moral conviction that education may work to realize the “American Dream” for all and alter entrenched social vulnerability make this book an essential read for any scholar of social justice and education.” -Paul Leslie, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology and Chief Academic Officer, Emeritus, Greensboro College, North Carolina, USA

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