Weighing in at a little more than 7 pounds, the latest edition of the Handbook of Research on Teaching made its official debut last month.
The 1,296-page tome contains summaries of current scholarly thought on everything from qualitative educational research and teaching physical education to educating culturally diverse students.
"It is not really a how-to-teach book," said Virginia Richardson, the volume's editor. She is also a professor and the chairwoman of the educational studies department at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
"It's more about how to think about research on teaching, how to conduct research on teaching, and what does the research say about various topics in teaching,'' she said.
Containing 51 chapters by 85 authors, the new edition is the fourth—and largest—published by the American Educational Research Association, a Washington-based group representing 23,000 researchers and educators around the world. The last one came out in 1986.
The new version, which was five years in the making, departs in some ways from its predecessor, according to Ms. Richardson. It includes, for example, scholarship on thinkers outside of traditional educational research, such as Jurgen Habermas, the German philosopher and sociologist, and the Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky, and it contains several chapters devoted to equity and multicultural topics. Chapters written by researchers from outside the United States are also included.
In addition, Ms. Richardson said, the book tries to set educational research in the context of other, broader developments in intellectual thought, such as postmodern theory.
"There's a whole different way of looking at knowledge, what is knowledge, who owns it, and how it is created," she said.
The association has so far printed 2,000 copies of the handbook. Information on ordering it is available at the association's Web site, www.aera.net/products/handbooks/.
Vol. 21, Issue 13, Page 8