Shapiro, H. Svi 1948-
Shapiro, H. Svi 1948-
University of North Carolina at Greensboro, school of education, 1980—, Department of Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations, professor, 1991—, chair and director of graduate programs, 1991-97, director of the Ph.D. program in curriculum and teaching, 1997-2004, interim chair, 1993.
(Editor, with David E. Purpel) Schools and Meaning: Essays on the Moral Nature of Schooling, University Press of America (Lanham, MD), 1985.
Between Capitalism and Democracy: Educational Policy and the Crisis of the Welfare State, Bergin & Garvey (New York, NY), 1990.
(Editor, with David E. Purpel) Critical Social Issues in American Education: Toward the 21st Century, Longman (New York, NY), 1993.
(With David E. Purpel) Beyond Liberation and Excellence: Reconstructing the Public Discourse on Education, Bergin & Garvey (Westport, CT), 1995.
(Editor, with David E. Purpel) Critical Social Issues in American Education: Transformation in a Postmodern World, 2nd edition, L. Erlbaum Associates (Mahwah, NJ), 1998, 3rd edition, 2005.
(Editor) Strangers in the Land: Pedagogy, Modernity, and Jewish Identity, Peter Lang (New York, NY), 1999.
(Editor, with wife, Sherry Shapiro) Body Movements: Pedagogy, Politics, and Social Change, Hampton Press (Creskill, NJ), 2002.
Losing Heart: The Moral and Spiritual Miseducation of America's Children, L. Erlbaum Associates (Mahwah, NJ), 2006.
Contributor of chapters to various books and to academic journals, including Tikkun, Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, Educational Studies, Education and Society, and the Journal of Higher Education.
H. Svi Shapiro was born January 8, 1948. He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of London, then went on to further his education, earning graduate degrees at the University of Pennsylvania and Boston University. Shapiro serves on the faculty of the University of North Carolina in Greensboro in the school of education. He is a professor of the Department of Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations, and has also served as the director of the graduate programs and the doctoral program in teaching at various points in his career. Shapiro's primary areas of research and academic interest include education, social policy, human rights and justice, and how these areas impact each other. He has researched educational systems on an international scale, and has traveled to such diverse locations as Israel, Brazil, Russia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom over the course of his studies. He is also interested in global social change and peace education, and queries into the quality of different forms of education. Shapiro has contributed to a wide range of academic journals published all over the world. He is also the author of a number of books, and has served as editor on several additional volumes. His work includes such titles as Between Capitalism and Democracy: Educational Policy and the Crisis of the Welfare State, Beyond Liberation and Excellence: Reconstructing the Public Discourse on Education, written with David E. Purpel, and Losing Heart: The Moral and Spiritual Miseducation of America's Children.
In Losing Heart, Shapiro sets out to critique the existing system of education and to propose a new way of teaching based on old Jewish methods of teaching. His goal is to determine what the major issues are with the current methods of education, focusing in particular on the way culture has developed with a notable absence of morals. Shapiro acknowledges that this is not a minor issue, but rather one that has taken years to develop and, as such, may take just as long to truly rectify. Over the course of the book, Shapiro takes a look at existing attempts to stop and reverse this downward spiral, such as the U.S. Government's No Child Left Behind Act, designed to ensure that every child would hit a minimal level of academic achievement by a certain age and supposedly refusing to advance students who have failed to meet this mandate. The ultimate goal in this instance is to improve the state of early childhood education and to draw a line in the sand regarding what is acceptable as far as student achievement. Shapiro also addresses the trend toward materialism that puts the emphasis on the wrong aspects of life and achievement, ignoring the need for an education. He addresses what he considers to be failures on the part of the government to fully stand behind their efforts to educate children, including the consistent underfunding and overcrowding of schools—often the very institutions where the students fail to meet the minimum levels required of them—as well as the shameful state of schools located in districts that are consistently populated by disadvantaged families and lower-income groups. He then goes on to provide an outline of ways in which he believes the educational system can be improved more effectively. His ideas are strongly based in the Jewish teachings of awareness and importance of education that he learned growing up, and that he feels can be applied to all groups, not just those of the Jewish faith. Sue Books, writing for Tikkun, remarked: "Overall, Losing Heart is inspirational. Shapiro does not lay out a linear argument so much as invite a deeper consideration of the moral foundations of contemporary American society and their implications for education."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, March, 1993, review of Between Capitalism and Democracy: Educational Policy and the Crisis of the Welfare State, p. 1091; October, 2007, L.O. Wilson, review of Losing Heart: The Moral and Spiritual Miseducation of America's Children, p. 333.
English Journal, November, 1993, review of Critical Social Issues in American Education: Toward the 21st Century, p. 42.
Reference & Research Book News, August, 1999, review of Strangers in the Land: Pedagogy, Modernity, and Jewish Identity, p. 40; November, 2004, review of Critical Social Issues in American Education: Democracy and Meaning in a Globalizing World, p. 190.
Tikkun, July 1, 2006, Sue Books, "A Crisis of Meaning: Holding Culture Accountable for Education," p. 68.
University of North Carolina at Greensboro Web site,http://www.uncg.edu/ (March 25, 2008), faculty profile.