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Out of the Dark is a call for teacher leaders to take a stand against the current neoliberal take over of our educational system today. This book investigates where this political power hold began, theorizes why is it so hard for us to change what is happening, and then explores theory into practice for supporting the development of a democratic curriculum. Out of the Dark highlights example schools in various states that are fighting the monopoly of standardization by implementing their own version of visionary democratic education. This book is purposefully heavy on references as to encourage teachers to become curriculum leaders through research and complicated conversation that they have with themselves and with each other. It is time to stand together against the over utilization and magnified importance of standardized testing in our educational system in the United States. The time is now to envision a democratic education based on an eclectic compilation of curriculum theory and fight for the significant educational contribution of our own professional wisdom, prompting democratic empowerment for our students.
"Calling all educators who are passionate about working as lead professionals for their society's democratic ideals and values! Wendy Samford has written a book that serves as an inspirational model and guide for your professional aspirations. Her text provides the information you need to function as an insightful critic, collegial leader, and pedagogical artist."
--James G. Henderson, Endowed Chair of Curriculum Studies, Rebecca Tolle and Burton W. Gorman Chair for Leadership in Education, Kent State University
"Out of the Dark is Wendy Samford's cri de coeur mediated by mindset. From her experiential and gut reaction that much is wrong with the present system--standardization, lack of proactive leadership--to her identification of renewal and a call to action, there is much in this book for leaders to take forward into their own situations."
--Michael Fullan, Professor Emeritus, LOISE/University of Toronto
"It's important to listen to the words of life-long in-school educators, like Samford, who can connect the policy issues to what happens to real-life teachers and kids. Chock full of details and ideas about how we should respond."
--Deborah Maier, Public school teacher; Principal, Author
"Out of the Dark is a call to arms for curriculum development as leadership. It provides a platform for curriculum leaders of all kinds to take a collective journey of understanding out of an era of standardization and de-skilling to one of professional growth and change. A must-read!"
-- Rose Ylimaki, Professor of Educational Policy Studies and Practice, University of Arizona