Wagner, Israeli scholars collaborate on ‘Beyond Bystanders’

Wagner, Israeli scholars collaborate on ‘Beyond Bystanders’

Cover, 'Beyond Bystanders'

“Beyond Bystanders: Educational Leadership for a Humane Culture in a Globalizing Reality” is a new book edited by Wagner College history professor Lori Weintrob and Nimrod Aloni of Tel Aviv’s Kibbutzim College of Education. It was published this year by Sense Publishers, an academic publishing house in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, as part of its Moral Development and Citizenship Education Series.

“Education is not only about teaching people to read and to write,” observes UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova in her foreword. “It is about teaching human rights and cultural diversity, nourishing peace, and fostering inclusive and sustainable development.

“I wish to commend Kibbutzim College of Education and Wagner College for joining forces to compile this volume to inspire readers in crafting new models of intellectual and intercultural understanding.”

“Beyond Bystanders” calls for a shift in the professional self-image of teachers, from agents of socialization to active advocates of human flourishing, social justice and world betterment. The editors propose that it is irresponsible for teachers to posit themselves as bystanders and to conceive of globalization as something happening to them. Their role as educators in all disciplines must be to establish educational leadership that would empower students to critically evaluate developing global realities – mass migrations, socioeconomic inequalities, global warming, and the dehumanizing effects of submission to social media and consumerism – and achieve the overarching goals of humanization and facilitation of the fulfilling life.

A shared commitment to humanist ethics, pedagogical activism and social engagement at Wagner College and Kibbutzim College of Education sparked this collaboration. The authors of the book include educational thinkers such as Nel Noddings, Michael Apple, David Hansen, Pasi Sahlberg and Wiel Veugelers as well as scholars and practitioners from six different countries and diverse professional and cultural backgrounds.

Wagner College contributors to “Beyond Bystanders” include Lori Weintrob, Jason Fitzgerald, Cyril Ghosh, Makhroufi Ousmane Traore, Steven Thomas, Lily McNair, Sarah Donovan, Samantha Siegel, David Gordon, Rita Reynolds, Patricia Moynagh, Alexa Dietrich and Margarita Sanchez. The book also includes an afterword by Wagner College President Richard Guarasci, renowned pioneer in civic engagement scholarship.