Archive for the 'education' Category

Ralph Nader recommends Shelton’s Consequential Learning as wake-up call to students

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 by Brian Seidman

Politician and consumer advocate Ralph Nader, in his December 22 column “Recommended Holiday Reading for the Caring, Agitated Mind” posted on his website, recommended Jack Shelton’s Consequential Learning: A Public Approach to Better Schools as “a wake-up call to parents and students.” NewSouth published Consequential Learning in 2005. From the column:

[Consequential Learning is] a wake-up call to parents and students so indentured to sterile, high-frequency multiple-choice standardized tests. Mr. Shelton stresses that student learning comes from both the classroom and the community, with the lessons of the former applied to the benefit of the latter. He shows from his experience in Alabama’s schools and colleges how students become “self-aware learners” from connecting school and community “in the formation of their personal characters.” Filled with examples and strategies for both civic and academic growth.

Jack Shelton has worked with rural schools and communities for thirty years, and has served as an education consultant in the United States and Australia. In 1979, he organized the Program for Rural Services and Research at the University of Alabama to foster rural education, economic development, entrepreneurship, cultural documentation, and community health.

Consequential Learning: A Public Approach to Better Schools by Jack Shelton is available direct from NewSouth Books, Amazon, or your favorite bookstore.

Remembering Alabama education pioneer Dr. Ethel Hall

Monday, November 21st, 2011 by Brian Seidman

Dr. Ethel Hall, the first African American woman elected to the Alabama State Board of Education, died this month at age 83. Hall had recounted both her two decades on the Board of Education and her early struggle to achieve higher education in her memoir My Journey, published earlier this year by NewSouth Books.

In a review of My Journey, First Draft‘s Linda McQueen called Dr. Hall “the epitome of a true role model for all generations. [Her memoir] is filled with memorable narratives of faith and hope. It is an inspiration to readers facing adversities and finding joy and success in achieving their goals.”

In her memoir, Dr. Hall discussed her experiences with prejudice and discrimination, while at the same time emphasizing her family’s love that helped her pursue education despite her family’s poverty; Hall left her parents’ farm at a young age live with her grandparents in order to be closer to school. She later graduated from Alabama A&M College, received masters and doctoral degrees, and taught high school and college before her election to the state board. Among issues she dealt with were strengthening academic requirements for grade school education and maintaining education standards despite budget cuts.

Dr. Hall wrote, “I carefully and consciously prepared for a challenging, demanding career in education because I believe learning is a lifelong process that impacts every individual. My experiences have affirmed my belief in a greater need for advocacy for those who are least able to make the changes needed in our social system.”

Read more about Dr. Ethel Hall from the Birmingham News.

My Journey: A Memoir of the First African American to Preside Over the Alabama Board of Education by Dr. Ethel Hall is available from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite bookseller.