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Equity and technology



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Encyclopedia of Education and Human Development


M. E. Sharpe


Armonk, NY



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This new encyclopedia, edited by two professors in the School of Education at Dowling College, focuses on issues and events in educational psychology. Coverage includes the ways in which learners construct knowledge at the different stages of human development, the educational tools used by teachers to teach, and educational politics. The essaylike format prevailing through most of the set appears at first glance better suited to a nonreference work, but the material is exceptionally arranged. There are five thematic sections, within which are 29 chapters with clearly marked subchapters. Each chapter concludes with a list of references. There is also a subject index in the back of all three volumes that is helpful, though not as detailed as it could be. The text is accompanied by nearly 60 black-and-white tables and figures.

Section 1, "Constructs of Learning," has chapters on "Curriculum," "Instruction," "Assessment," and "Educational Technology." Section 2, "Philosophical, Social, and Political Issues in Education," deals with educational policy and its relationship to social and political issues; section 3, "Levels in Educational Practice," discusses the different stages of education (e.g., early childhood or adolescent). Section 4 covers "Physical, Motor, and Cognitive Domains," while section 5 explores "Educational Issues Concerning Diverse Populations" (such as learning disabilities or psychiatric disorders). The last two sections are more traditionally encyclopedia-like. Section 6 has biographical essays on 20 important figures in the field of education along with a short list of references, and section 7 has sketches of 19 important educational organizations, including financial information.

The introduction lauds this work as "probably the most impressive compendium of writings about education . . . ever assembled." But although it's a solid, well-organized encyclopedia with a specific focus, much of this information is attainable elsewhere, in various chunks, from sources like the Handbook of Educational Psychology (Macmillian, 1996) and the all-inclusive International Encyclopedia of Education (Elsevier, 1994). Most of the contributors are from the U.S., giving this an American focus that is counterbalanced slightly by coverage of children's rights worldwide and a section devoted to education from an international perspective. The references are up-to-date, and libraries that can afford the steep price will want to supplement their educational reference sections with this work. Recommended for academic and large public libraries. Susan Gardner
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Equity and technology