Review by Choice Review
As with the Routledge International Companion to Education, ed. by B. Moon, M. Ben-Peretz, and S. Brown (CH, Jan'01, 38-2525), this volume features many excellent articles on broad educational topics. For students needing a highly readable context within which to place basic educational concepts (e.g., "classroom," "evaluation"), this source's utility is without question. McCulloch and Crook attempt in a single volume to take a panoramic view of education by including practice and theory, history, and the present. This ambition is risky, though, as it results in several nebulous entry titles (e.g., "English," "Excellence," "Family," "Qualifications," "School knowledge," "Skills") that leave researchers unsure of the nature of the included content. But cross-referencing and indexing are both superb, which aids significantly in finding one's way to and through some of the more ambiguously titled articles. Also, as the editors validly point out, this source's attempt to link research, theory, and practice is especially important today, when these three domains rarely intersect in print.Biographies of key educational figures are included. McCulloch and Crook concede that, as with many "international" reference works, the content of the volume skews significantly Western. Indeed, three-quarters of the contributors hail from either the US or the UK. The pattern of selection of entries for specific countries is curious. For example, Canada, Finland, France, South Africa, and Sweden, among others, are included; Mexico and Spain are excluded. Doesn't Mexico warrant an article, given its complex relationship with the US? The editors explain fairly successfully how they believe this work fits within the array of available education encyclopedias. This volume's broad content will render it useful to students of all social sciences. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-level undergraduates. E. S. Petersen Dana College
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
Numerous encyclopedias of education and education-related topics get published; single-volume general encyclopedias of education are less common. McCulloch and Crook have headed a team of over 200 international experts on various aspects of this broad subject to produce this one-volume work on the theory and practice of education throughout history and around the world. This is an ambitious undertaking and cannot be expected to have the depth of coverage offered by more lengthy works. Nonetheless, libraries that cannot afford multivolume works, practitioners who would benefit from a one-volume general handbook, and students who need brief introductions to a wide variety of topics in the field may find this work useful. Its roughly 600 A-to-Z entries include short-length (300-word) definitions or biographical information on significant educators, medium-length (750-word) entries giving more detail on specific topics, and lengthy (1500-word) essays on major themes. American readers will certainly notice the absence of entries on such key U.S. topics as athletics, community service, scheduling, latchkey children, school year, or uniforms and dress codes, but they'll get a broader international perspective on bilingual education or home schooling, for instance. Coverage of national systems is very selective, so a work such as Gale's second edition of World Education Encyclopedia: A Survey of Educational Systems Worldwide (2002) may be needed as a supplement. BOTTOM LINE Though a bit pricey for a one-volume encyclopedia, this work may still suffice for libraries not needing lengthier works on the topic. An optional purchase for libraries owning more extensive encyclopedias of education; recommended for smaller libraries and individuals needing a one-volume work. [Available in print only.]--Rosanne M. Cordell, Indiana Univ. Lib., South Bend (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.