Samuel Abrams has a stop-over in Iceland and presents his book.
Samuel Abrams er höfundur bókarinnar Education and the Commercial Mindset sem var gefin út 2016. Þar rekur hann sögu einkavæðinga hugmynda skólastarfs í Bandaríkjunum og ræðir þróunina á Norðurlöndunum til samanburðar. Hann spyr hver séu afdrif hugmynda um einkavæðingu í bandaríska skólalkerfinu, einnig í fleiri kerfum, m.a. norrænu kerfunum. Hann styðst við ríkuleg gögn í bók sinni og dregur þá ályktun að ekki hafi verið gengið til góðs á þeirri braut sem hann ræðir. Hins vegar telur hann að ýmislegt megi læra af dæmum úr viðskiptaheiminum, sbr. grein í Los Angeles Times sem vitnað er í hér að neðan. Bók hans smellpassar inn í mikla umræðu um þróun skólastarfs í Bandaríkjunum, ekki síst nú í ljósi breyttra áherslna sem kunna að fylgja nýrri forystusveit í Bandaríkjunum. Hann mun einmitt velta því fyrir sér hvað sé í vændum undir stjórn Donalds Trump og Betty DeVos.
Drawing on his book, Education and the Commercial Mindset (Harvard University Press, 2016), Samuel E. Abrams will discuss the divergent paths taken by education policymakers in Chile, Finland, Sweden, and the United States. In addition, Abrams will address the implications of Donald Trump’s victory for schooling in the United States.
Writing in The New York Review of Books, Diane Ravitch described Education and the Commercial Mindset as “an elegant analysis of the workings of market forces in education.” Reviewing the book for Teachers College Record, Margaret Stange-Topkins described it as “exceptionally balanced, meticulously researched, and rooted in a deep understanding of the historical, cultural, and social antecedents of the widespread use of business practices and norms in education.”
This excerpt from Education and the Commercial Mindset concerning Finnish education policy was published by The Stanford Social Innovation Review. For an interview with Abrams about his book, see this column by Valerie Strauss for The Washington Post. Los Angeles Times published an opinion piece by Abrams on this January 9th titled “Forget charter schools and vouchers — here are five business ideas school reformers should adopt”, where he critically examines and rejects the business ideas normally adopted, but suggests different ones, - from business but also from Nordic education – that should be considered.
Abrams is the director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. In addition to Education and the Commercial Mindset, his publications include a chapter on Nordic education in Utbildningsekonomi: Om lärandets värde (Natur och Kultur, 2017). Committed to sports as well as scholarship, Abrams is a veteran coach in the Ice Hockey in Harlem program.