New Sociology of Education Book Co-Edited by Warner School Professor

Ares Lends Expertise to Promote Understanding of Social Spaces of K-12 Schooling 

bookNancy Ares, associate professor of education at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education, is the lead editor of a new book on the changing landscape of educational reform and land-use policies, revealing how social, political, and historical dimensions of space, especially racial/ethnic and other markers of difference, shape schooling, communities, people, and culture. 

Deterritorializing/Reterritorializing: Critical Geography of Educational Reform (Sense Publishers, 2017) is co-edited with Edward Buendía, dean of the School of Educational Studies at the University of Washington–Bothell, and Robert Helfenbein, associate dean of the School of Education at Loyola University of Maryland.
Ares and the book contributors use a critical geography framework—a multidisciplinary structure that analyzes how space changes over time—to closely examine how constructions of social spaces shape and are shaped by school reforms. They situate their work in contemporary neoliberal polices in public education that are pushing responsibility for economic and social welfare, as well as education policy and practice, out of federal and into more local entities. For example, states, cities, and school boards are being given more responsibility and power in determining curriculum content and standards, accompanied by increasing privatization of public education through the rise of charter schools and organizations running schools as profit-making ventures.
Given these pressures, critical geography’s unique approach to spatial constructions of schools is crucially important, Ares explains in the opening chapter.
“We highlight work that reveals hidden inequities of race, class, ability, sexuality, and gender (among others) as well as inequities and underlying assumptions buried within often-used concepts such as community, identity, place, and space,” says Ares. “Implications and consequences of policy responses that are quickly changing the landscape of educational and economic development across the U.S. and other countries need to be unearthed to heighten awareness of and support action to counteract their potentially oppressive effects.”
The 14 chapters of Deterritorializing/Reterritorializing are divided into three sections. Section one helps set the stage by examining the multiple dimensions of social space and the multiple perspectives and histories that are embodied in such spaces. Section two addresses claims to space by focusing on ways that various groups navigate challenges to their rights to public and community spaces. Section three addresses the politics of space in educational and community reforms to help illuminate their political dimensions.
Contributors to the book include nearly two-dozen scholars from a variety of fields, including education, curriculum and cultural studies, feminist geographies, indigenous geographies, critical disability studies, and sociology, from across the country. Among the authors is Warner School alumna Cecilia Rios Aguilar ‘07W (PhD), who co-wrote the chapter “Developing a Critical Space Perspective in the Examination of the Racialization of Disabilities.” Rios Aguilar is an associate professor at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and director of the Higher Education Research Institute.
Photo of Nancy AresAres focuses her research on classroom and community practices, with particular attention to the ways that cultural and linguistic diversity and social interaction affect teaching, learning, and community transformation. Her work in formal and informal settings emphasizes resource-rich approaches to understanding school and community revitalization. In addition to her teaching, Ares has edited and co-edited other books, including Youth-full Productions: Cultural Practices and Constructions of Content and Social Spaces (Lang, 2009) and Geographies of Difference: The Social Production of the East Side, West Side, and Central City School (Lang, 2006), and has authored multiple book chapters and peer-reviewed articles in top-tier education journals on social and spatial practices shaping education and community reform.
Deterritorializing/Reterritorializing was published as part of a series called “Breakthroughs in the Sociology of Education” that highlights books that are changing how people understand both education and the sociology of education. 
About the Warner School of Education
Founded in 1958, the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education offers master’s and doctoral degree programs in teaching and curriculum, school leadership, higher education, educational policy, counseling, human development, and health professions education. The Warner School of Education offers an accelerated option for its EdD programs that allows eligible students to earn a doctorate in education in as few as three years part time while holding a professional job in the same field. The Warner School of Education is recognized both regionally and nationally for its tradition of preparing practitioners and researchers to become leaders and agents of change in schools, universities, and community agencies; generating and disseminating research; and actively participating in education reform. 
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