More theoretical than practical but vital for educators and particularly valuable for those entering the profession.




A debut book elaborates on the fundamental ideas at play in the growing field of multicultural education, specifically at the college level.

In this work, Spiteri (Social Policy and Social Work/Univ. of York) surveys the studies that lay out the theoretical groundwork for this cross-disciplinary endeavor. Overall, this project reads like an academic literature review, whereby the author summarizes or quotes applicable studies in the text and then lists them at the end of each chapter so that readers can conduct additional research based on their own interests. Spiteri aligns himself with the major shift in pedagogy toward a student-centered approach rather than the traditional teacher-centered mode, cleverly referred to here as “talk and chalk.” He recommends moving away from the lecture-based courses that are delivered in front of a large group of passive students who are expected to absorb and regurgitate the information uncritically. Instead, he asserts that university educators need to ensure “that the students can use their own cultural frames of reference in order to understand, explore further, and, if need be, challenge what they are being taught.” At the same time, the author recognizes the challenges facing college faculty members that may impede the best of intentions: heavy workloads, large class sizes, and lack of familiarity with new technologies. While he uses the passive voice too frequently, Spiteri organizes the material very well and produces a smooth flow of argumentation. Notably, in order to provide instructive anecdotes, the author draws on his own experiences as a lecturer at a vocational college in Malta when asylum seekers from Africa were entering the country, along with students visiting or relocating from other European nations. He deftly demonstrates how meaningful classroom interactions can help students examine their own culturally transmitted preconceived notions regarding facets of identity such as race, class, gender, nationality, religion, and sexuality. Given that identity and culture are not monolithic concepts, Spiteri writes optimistically: “Since cultures evolve, people need to evolve. And as people evolve, they transform. Multicultural education makes it more likely that this transformation will take an equity-centered direction. The process is one that is both ongoing and dynamic.”

More theoretical than practical but vital for educators and particularly valuable for those entering the profession.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-137-51366-3

Page Count: 230

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Feb. 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2017

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The sub-title of this book is "Reflections on Education with Special Reference to the Teaching of English in the Upper Forms of Schools." But one finds in it little about education, and less about the teaching of English. Nor is this volume a defense of the Christian faith similar to other books from the pen of C. S. Lewis. The three lectures comprising the book are rather rambling talks about life and literature and philosophy. Those who have come to expect from Lewis penetrating satire and a subtle sense of humor, used to buttress a real Christian faith, will be disappointed.

Pub Date: April 8, 1947

ISBN: 1609421477

Page Count: -

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1947

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Carefully researched and chilling, if somewhat overwritten.


Comprehensive, myth-busting examination of the Colorado high-school massacre.

“We remember Columbine as a pair of outcast Goths from the Trench Coat Mafia snapping and tearing through their high school hunting down jocks to settle a long-running feud. Almost none of that happened,” writes Cullen, a Denver-based journalist who has spent the past ten years investigating the 1999 attack. In fact, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold conceived of their act not as a targeted school shooting but as an elaborate three-part act of terrorism. First, propane bombs planted in the cafeteria would erupt during lunchtime, indiscriminately slaughtering hundreds of students. The killers, positioned outside the school’s main entrance, would then mow down fleeing survivors. Finally, after the media and rescue workers had arrived, timed bombs in the killers’ cars would explode, wiping out hundreds more. It was only when the bombs in the cafeteria failed to detonate that the killers entered the high school with sawed-off shotguns blazing. Drawing on a wealth of journals, videotapes, police reports and personal interviews, Cullen sketches multifaceted portraits of the killers and the surviving community. He portrays Harris as a calculating, egocentric psychopath, someone who labeled his journal “The Book of God” and harbored fantasies of exterminating the entire human race. In contrast, Klebold was a suicidal depressive, prone to fits of rage and extreme self-loathing. Together they forged a combustible and unequal alliance, with Harris channeling Klebold’s frustration and anger into his sadistic plans. The unnerving narrative is too often undermined by the author’s distracting tendency to weave the killers’ expressions into his sentences—for example, “The boys were shooting off their pipe bombs by then, and, man, were those things badass.” Cullen is better at depicting the attack’s aftermath. Poignant sections devoted to the survivors probe the myriad ways that individuals cope with grief and struggle to interpret and make sense of tragedy.

Carefully researched and chilling, if somewhat overwritten.

Pub Date: April 6, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-446-54693-5

Page Count: 406

Publisher: Twelve

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2009

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