Outstanding Book Award
Outstanding Book Award
Outstanding Book Award

2021 Award Recipient

Kabria Baumgartner
Northeastern University
Baumgartner​, K. (2019). In Pursuit of Knowledge: Black Women and Educational Activism in Antebellum America. NYU Press.​

In Pursuit of Knowledge: Black Women and Educational Activism in Antebellum America by Kabria Baumgartner provides a powerful analysis of black women's "purposeful" educational activism in antebellum America. Typically, historical accounts of desegregation and civil rights in education are situated in the South and often explore the role of established organizations and legal and political machinations that engendered an expansion of rights for African Americans. In this book, Baumgartner uncovers an origin story of sorts and it begins with the struggles of African American women and girls who understood that education was one necessary element in their quest for freedom and self-determination. By centering the courage and wisdom of African American girls and women and by weaving all these stories together, Baumgartner complicates past narratives and paints a fuller picture of the long, continuing struggle for equal education in the United States. This book is an invaluable contribution to African American and women's history that will appeal to educational researchers and a general audience.

The Outstanding Book Award was established to acknowledge and honor the year’s best book-length publication in education research and development. To be considered for award, a book must be concerned with the improvement of the educational process through original research or scholarly inquiry, must have a research base, and must have copyright date of the past two years of the year in which the award is to be given.  

Nominations may be submitted by the author of the work, by another scholar, or by the publisher of the work. The book may have been published anywhere in the world but, for purposes of consideration, must be available in English. Edited volumes, including textbooks, are not considered for the award.

Past Recipients

2020 - Leilani Sabzalian - Indigenous Children’s Survivance in Public Schools
2019 - Elizabeth Todd-Breland - A Political Education: Black Politics and Education Reform in Chicago Since the 1960s
2018 - Ezekiel J. Dixon-Román - Inheriting Possibility: Social Reproduction and Quantification in Education
2017 - Roberto G. Gonzales -  Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America
2016 - Diana E. Hess & Paula McAvoy - The Political Classroom: Evidence and Ethics in Democratic Education
2015 - David P. Baker - The Schooled Society: The Educational Transformation of Global Culture
2014 - David L. Kirp - Improbable Scholars: The Rebirth of a Great American School System and a Strategy for America’s Schools
2013 - Christopher P. Loss - Between Citizens and the State: The Politics of American Higher Education in the 20th Century
2012 - Valerie Kinloch - Harlem on Our Minds: Place, Race, and the Literacies of Urban Youth
2011 - Richard R. Valencia - Dismantling Contemporary Deficit Thinking: Educational Thought and Practice
2010 - Jeffrey R. Henig - Spin Cycle: How Research Is Used in Policy Debates: The Case of Charter Schools
2009 - Paul Attewell & David E. Lavin - Passing the Torch: Does Higher Education for the Disadvantaged Pay Off Across the Generations?
2008 - C. J. Pascoe - Dude, You're a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School
2007 - Rami Benbenishty & Ron Avi Astor - School Violence in Context
2006 - William G. Bowen, Martin A. Kurzweil & Eugene M. Tobin -Equity and Excellence in American Higher Education 
2005 - Mica Pollock - Colormute: Race Talk Dilemmas in an American School, and Frederick D. Erickson -Talk and Social Theory
2004 - Amy J. Binder - Contentious Curricula: Afrocentrism and Creationism in American Public Schools 
2003 - No award made
2002 - Robin Alexander - Culture & Pedagogy 
2001 - Jeannie Oakes, Karen Hunter Qurtz, Steve Ryan and Martin Lipton - Becoming Good American Schools 
2000 - Angela Valenzuela -Subtractive Schooling: U.S. Mexican Youth and the Politics of Caring 
1999 - John M. Willinsky - Learning to Divide the World: Education at Empire's End 
1998 - Linda Darling-Hammond -The Right to Learn 
1997 - L. Scott Miller - An American Imperative 
1996 - David C. Berliner & Bruce J. Biddle - The Manufactured Crisis 
1995 - Jeffrey Mirel - The Rise and Fall of an Urban School System: Detroit 1970-1981 
1994 - No Award Given
1993 - Joan DelFattore & Jonathan Kozol
1992 - David B. Tyack, Elizabeth Hansot, Teun A. Van Dijk & Idit Harel
1991 - Stephen Brint & Jerome Karabel
1990 - James D. Anderson
1989 - Burton R. Clark & David F. Labaree
1988 - James C. Coleman & Thomas Hoffer
1987 - Robert J. Sternberg
1986 - David John Hogan
1985 - John I. Goodlad
1984 - Sarah Lawrence-Lightfoot, Teun A. Van Dijk & Walter Kintsch
1983 - Stephen Jay Gould & CarolGilligan
Call for Award Nominations

Deadline: December 1, 2021. Outstanding Book Award nominations due November 17, 2021.

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