The challenge of overcoming educational inequality in the United States can sometimes appear overwhelming, and great controversy exists as to whether or not elementary schools are up to the task, whether they can ameliorate existing social inequalities and initiate opportunities for economic and civic flourishing for all children. This book shows what can happen when you rethink schools from the ground up with precisely these goals in mind, approaching educational inequality and its entrenched causes head on, student by student.
Drawing on an in-depth study of real schools on the South Side of Chicago, Elizabeth McGhee Hassrick, Stephen W. Raudenbush, and Lisa Rosen argue that effectively meeting the challenge of educational inequality requires a complete reorganization of institutional structures as well as wholly new norms, values, and practices that are animated by a relentless commitment to student learning. They examine a model that pulls teachers out of their isolated classrooms and places them into collaborative environments where they can share their curricula, teaching methods, and assessments of student progress with a school-based network of peers, parents, and other professionals. Within this structure, teachers, school leaders, social workers, and parents collaborate to ensure that every child receives instruction tailored to his or her developing skills. Cooperating schools share new tools for assessment and instruction and become sites for the training of new teachers. Parents become respected partners, and expert practitioners work with researchers to evaluate their work and refine their models for educational organization and practice. The authors show not only what such a model looks like but the dramatic results it produces for student learning and achievement.
The result is a fresh, deeply informed, and remarkably clear portrait of school reform that directly addresses the real problems of educational inequality.
Dissecting twenty years of educational politics in our nation’s largest cities, American School Reform offers one of the clearest assessments of school reform as it has played out in our recent history. Joseph P. McDonald and his colleagues evaluate the half-billion-dollar Annenberg Challenge—launched in 1994—alongside other large-scale reform efforts that have taken place in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and the San Francisco Bay Area. They look deeply at what school reform really is, how it works, how it fails, and what differences it can make nonetheless.
McDonald and his colleagues lay out several interrelated ideas in what they call a theory of action space. Frequently education policy gets so ambitious that implementing it becomes a near impossibility. Action space, however, is what takes shape when talented educators, leaders, and reformers guide the social capital of civic leaders and the financial capital of governments, foundations, corporations, and other backers toward true results. Exploring these extraordinary collaborations through their lifespans and their influences on future efforts, the authors provide political hope—that reform efforts can work, and that our schools can be made better.
In 1949, a small book had a big impact on education. In just over one hundred pages, Ralph W. Tyler presented the concept that curriculum should be dynamic, a program under constant evaluation and revision. Curriculum had always been thought of as a static, set program, and in an era preoccupied with student testing, he offered the innovative idea that teachers and administrators should spend as much time evaluating their plans as they do assessing their students.
Since then, Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction has been a standard reference for anyone working with curriculum development. Although not a strict how-to guide, the book shows how educators can critically approach curriculum planning, studying progress and retooling when needed. Its four sections focus on setting objectives, selecting learning experiences, organizing instruction, and evaluating progress. Readers will come away with a firm understanding of how to formulate educational objectives and how to analyze and adjust their plans so that students meet the objectives. Tyler also explains that curriculum planning is a continuous, cyclical process, an instrument of education that needs to be fine-tuned.
This emphasis on thoughtful evaluation has kept Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction a relevant, trusted companion for over sixty years. And with school districts across the nation working feverishly to align their curriculum with Common Core standards, Tyler's straightforward recommendations are sound and effective tools for educators working to create a curriculum that integrates national objectives with their students' needs.
Historically, Americans of all stripes have concurred that teachers were essential to the success of the public schools and nation. However, they have also concurred that public school teachers were to blame for the failures of the schools and identified professionalization as a panacea.
In Blaming Teachers, Diana D'Amico Pawlewicz reveals that historical professionalization reforms subverted public school teachers’ professional legitimacy. Superficially, professionalism connotes authority, expertise, and status. Professionalization for teachers never unfolded this way; rather, it was a policy process fueled by blame where others identified teachers’ shortcomings. Policymakers, school leaders, and others understood professionalization measures for teachers as efficient ways to bolster the growing bureaucratic order of the public schools through regulation and standardization. Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century with the rise of municipal public school systems and reaching into the 1980s, Blaming Teachers traces the history of professionalization policies and the discourses of blame that sustained them.
The attraction of scary stories begins very early in childhood, but the fortitude to be truly scared comes later. So where are the scary stories for young children? Educators and storytellers, Ford and Norfolk deliver a silly and gently spooky collection of jumps, laughs, interactive moments, and mostly happy endings to satisfy the curious-for-creepy Pre-K through Grade 4 set. Their weirdly funny and gently scary collection of adapted folktales, original stories, and verses will delight those who enjoy being surprised more than being scared.
This book is for:
Parents, grandparents, and other mentors who work with children developmentally aged 4 to 9
Educators, librarians and others serving young listeners, who like silly and creepy stories, but may not like very scary material
Audiences ages 4-9, who like creepy but not-too-scary stories.
Twelve pen-and-ink drawings based on folktale motifs complement the fanciful tone of the book.
Four-year-old Eli plays alone at the shore, inventing dramas out of sand and water. He is Builder, Fireman, Protector, and Scout, overcoming waves and conquering monsters. Enter Marianne and doll, Mother and Baby, eager to redefine Eli as a good father and homesteader. Their separate visions intertwine in a search for a common ground on which howling wolves and butterfly sisters can learn to understand and need one another.
What can the richly imagined, impressively adaptable fantasy world of these children tell us about childhood, development, education, and even life itself? For fifty years, teacher and writer Vivian Gussin Paley has been exploring the imagery, language, and lore of young children, asking the questions they ask of themselves.
In The Boy on the Beach she continues to do so, going deeper into the mystery of play as she follows Eli and Marianne through the kindergarten year, finding more answers and more questions. How does their teacher, Mrs. Olson, manage to honor and utilize the genius of play to create an all-inclusive community in which boys and girls like each other and listen to each other’s stories? Why is Paley’s fellow teacher Yu-ching in Taiwan certain that her children pretend to be kittens in order to become necessary to the group? And why do teachers in London see their childrens’ role-playing as the natural end to loneliness in the school community?
Rich with the words of children and teachers themselves, The Boy on the Beach is vintage Paley, a wise and provocative appreciation of the importance of play and enduring curiosity about the nature of childhood and the imagination.
"Paley has a sharp ear for the rhythm and inflections of childhood. Her vignettes give us a revealing glimpse into children's inner lives, and her discussion of her own discomfort with boy's play and approval of that of girls raises and important issue."—Carole Wade, Psychology Today
"I will admit my biases up front: having a three-year old daughter of my own made it impossible for this book to be anything but fun to read. I dare anyone who enjoys children not to enjoy this story about stories, this narrative about narratives."—Jerry Powell, Winterthur Portfolio
The Broken Compass
Keith Robinson Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress LC225.3.R64 2014 | Dewey Decimal 371.192
It seems like common sense that children do better when parents are actively involved in their schooling. But how well does the evidence stack up? The Broken Compass puts this question to the test in the most thorough scientific investigation to date of how parents across socioeconomic and ethnic groups contribute to the academic performance of K-12 children. The surprising discovery is that no clear connection exists between parental involvement and student performance.
Keith Robinson and Angel Harris assessed over sixty measures of parental participation, at home and in school. While some of the associations they found were consistent with past studies, others ran contrary to previous research and popular perceptions. It is not the case that Hispanic and African American parents are less concerned about education--or that "Tiger parenting" among Asian Americans gets the desired results. Many low-income parents want to be involved in their children's school lives but often receive little support from school systems. For immigrant families, language barriers only worsen the problem. In this provocative work, Robinson and Harris believe that the time has come to reconsider whether parental involvement can make much of a dent in the basic problems facing American schools today.
From the fights about the teaching of evolution to the details of sex education, it may seem like American schools are hotbeds of controversy. But as Jonathan Zimmerman and Emily Robertson show in this insightful book, it is precisely because such topics are so inflammatory outside school walls that they are so commonly avoided within them. And this, they argue, is a tremendous disservice to our students. Armed with a detailed history of the development of American educational policy and norms and a clear philosophical analysis of the value of contention in public discourse, they show that one of the best things American schools should do is face controversial topics dead on, right in their classrooms.
Zimmerman and Robertson highlight an aspect of American politics that we know all too well: We are terrible at having informed, reasonable debates. We opt instead to hurl insults and accusations at one another or, worse, sit in silence and privately ridicule the other side. Wouldn’t an educational system that focuses on how to have such debates in civil and mutually respectful ways improve our public culture and help us overcome the political impasses that plague us today? To realize such a system, the authors argue that we need to not only better prepare our educators for the teaching of hot-button issues, but also provide them the professional autonomy and legal protection to do so. And we need to know exactly what constitutes a controversy, which is itself a controversial issue. The existence of climate change, for instance, should not be subject to discussion in schools: scientists overwhelmingly agree that it exists. How we prioritize it against other needs, such as economic growth, however—that is worth a debate.
With clarity and common-sense wisdom, Zimmerman and Robertson show that our squeamishness over controversy in the classroom has left our students woefully underserved as future citizens. But they also show that we can fix it: if we all just agree to disagree, in an atmosphere of mutual respect.
The buzz word in education today is accountability. But the federal mandate of "no child left behind" has come to mean curriculums driven by preparation for standardized tests and quantifiable learning results. Even for very young children, unstructured creative time in the classroom is waning as teachers and administrators are under growing pressures to measure school readiness through rote learning and increased homework. In her new book, Vivian Gussin Paley decries this rapid disappearance of creative time and makes the case for the critical role of fantasy play in the psychological, intellectual, and social development of young children.
A Child's Work goes inside classrooms around the globe to explore the stunningly original language of children in their role-playing and storytelling. Drawing from their own words, Paley examines how this natural mode of learning allows children to construct meaning in their worlds, meaning that carries through into their adult lives. Proof that play is the work of children, this compelling and enchanting book will inspire and instruct teachers and parents as well as point to a fundamental misdirection in today's educational programs and strategies.
Sociologist Harry L. Gracey spent two years studying an East-Coast school system, which he calls "Brookview," and determined that the bureaucratic social structure of schools can have a profound and irreversibly negative effect on the creativity of teachers. This volume tells the story of the "Wilbur Wright" elementary school in Brookview. It examines the relationship between the educational institution as a bureaucracy and the goals of the two main types of teaching orientation found in elementary schools such as Wright.
The majority of teachers are "production" oriented. They believe that their job is to see that the children in their charge complete as much of the standardized grade level curriculum as possible during the school year. They do achieve some success in preparing children for life in a society where bureaucracy is the dominant form of social organization.
The other significant type of teaching orientation is that of the "craftsmen." These instructors see their goal as the development of each individual's learning potential, with the curriculum built upon the specific needs and interests of each child. Bureaucratic school structures do nothing to promote this kind of teaching.
Any ideas that are at variance with the school's organizational structure will fail. The craftsman teachers do not have the time to communicate the standardized programs desired by the school board and also to make use of their own individualistic techniques. Further, the continued use of the former cancels the effects of the craftsman approach.
In delineating his conclusions, Professor Gracey includes his observations on the community and educational setting of the study, the two types of teachers, the administration, the parents, and the children's response to educational organization.
This study is unique in approaching its educational subject matter from a sociological point of view; Professor Gracey intended it as a study of behavior in organizations. It should also serve educational goals, however, and will therefore interest educators and concerned citizens as well as sociologists.
The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries saw a marked increase in the availability of elementary and grammar education in Europe. In France, that rise took the form of a unique blend of trends seen elsewhere in Europe, ranging from Church-dominated schools to independent schools and communal groups of teachers. Lyon, long a crossroad of ideas from north and south, was home to a particularly interesting blend of approaches, and in this book Sarah Lynch offers a close analysis of the educational landscape of the city, showing how schools and teachers were organized and how they interacted with each other and with ecclesiastical and municipal authorities.
Math and science hold powerful places in contemporary society, setting the foundations for entry into some of the most robust and highest-paying industries. However, effective math and science education is not equally available to all students, with some of the poorest students—those who would benefit most—going egregiously underserved. This ongoing problem with education highlights one of the core causes of the widening class gap.
While this educational inequality can be attributed to a number of economic and political causes, in Empowering Science and Mathematics Education in Urban Communities, Angela Calabrese Barton and Edna Tan demonstrate that it is augmented by a consistent failure to integrate student history, culture, and social needs into the core curriculum. They argue that teachers and schools should create hybrid third spaces—neither classroom nor home—in which underserved students can merge their personal worlds with those of math and science. A host of examples buttress this argument: schools where these spaces have been instituted now provide students not only an immediate motivation to engage the subjects most critical to their future livelihoods but also the broader math and science literacy necessary for robust societal engagement. A unique look at a frustratingly understudied subject, Empowering Science and Mathematics Education pushes beyond the idea of teaching for social justice and into larger questions of how and why students participate in math and science.
Launched in middle schools in the fall of 2005, the "Writers Matter" approach was designed to discover ways to improve the fit between actual English curricula, district/state standards and, more recently, the Common Core Curriculum Standards for writing instruction. Adapted from Erin Gruwell's successful Freedom Writers Program, "Writers Matter" develops students' skills in the context of personal growth, understanding others, and making broader connections to the world.
Empowering Young Writers explains and expands on the practical aspects of the "Writers Matter" approach, emphasizing a focus on free expression and establishing connections between the curriculum and students' personal lives. Program creator Robert Vogel, and his co-authors offer proven ways to motivate adolescents to write, work diligently to improve their writing skills, and think more critically about the world.
This comprehensive book will help teachers, administrators, and education students apply and reproduce the "Writers Matter" approach more broadly, which can have a profound impact on their students' lives and social development.
It isn’t just in recent arguments over the teaching of intelligent design or reciting the pledge of allegiance that religion and education have butted heads: since their beginnings nearly two centuries ago, public schools have been embroiled in heated controversies over religion’s place in the education system of a pluralistic nation. In this book, Benjamin Justice and Colin Macleod take up this rich and significant history of conflict with renewed clarity and astonishing breadth. Moving from the American Revolution to the present—from the common schools of the nineteenth century to the charter schools of the twenty-first—they offer one of the most comprehensive assessments of religion and education in America that has ever been published.
From Bible readings and school prayer to teaching evolution and cultivating religious tolerance, Justice and Macleod consider the key issues and colorful characters that have shaped the way American schools have attempted to negotiate religious pluralism in a politically legitimate fashion. While schools and educational policies have not always advanced tolerance and understanding, Justice and Macleod point to the many efforts Americans have made to find a place for religion in public schools that both acknowledges the importance of faith to so many citizens and respects democratic ideals that insist upon a reasonable separation of church and state. Finally, they apply the lessons of history and political philosophy to an analysis of three critical areas of religious controversy in public education today: student-led religious observances in extracurricular activities, the tensions between freedom of expression and the need for inclusive environments, and the shift from democratic control of schools to loosely regulated charter and voucher programs.
Altogether Justice and Macleod show how the interpretation of educational history through the lens of contemporary democratic theory offers both a richer understanding of past disputes and new ways of addressing contemporary challenges.
Despite American education’s recent mania for standardized tests, testing misses what really matters about learning: the desire to learn in the first place. Curiosity is vital, but it remains a surprisingly understudied characteristic. The Hungry Mind is a deeply researched, highly readable exploration of what curiosity is, how it can be measured, how it develops in childhood, and how it can be fostered in school.
“Engel draws on the latest social science research and incidents from her own life to understand why curiosity is nearly universal in babies, pervasive in early childhood, and less evident in school…Engel’s most important finding is that most classroom environments discourage curiosity…In an era that prizes quantifiable results, a pedagogy that privileges curiosity is not likely to be a priority.”
—Glenn C. Altschuler, Psychology Today
“Susan Engel’s The Hungry Mind, a book which engages in depth with how our interest and desire to explore the world evolves, makes a valuable contribution not only to the body of academic literature on the developmental and educational psychology of children, but also to our knowledge on why and how we learn.”
—Inez von Weitershausen, LSE Review of Books
One of the great challenges now facing education reformers in the United States is how to devise a consistent and intelligent framework for instruction that will work across the nation’s notoriously fragmented and politically conflicted school systems. Various programs have tried to do that, but only a few have succeeded. Improvement by Design looks at three different programs, seeking to understand why two of them—America’s Choice and Success for All—worked, and why the third—Accelerated Schools Project—did not.
The authors identify four critical puzzles that the successful programs were able to solve: design, implementation, improvement, and sustainability. Pinpointing the specific solutions that clearly improved instruction, they identify the key elements that all successful reform programs share. Offering urgently needed guidance for state and local school systems as they attempt to respond to future reform proposals, Improvement by Design gets America one step closer to truly successful education systems.
Fourth-grade students and other young readers will learn about interactions of people with natural geographical features of Wisconsin. Emphasizing both historic and new maps, Learning from the Land explores land use from early Indians to the Black Hawk War, looking at mining, logging, farming, and environmental issues.
Fourth-grade students and other young readers will learn about interactions of people with natural geographical features of Wisconsin. Emphasizing both historic and new maps, Learning from the Land explores land use from early Indians to the Black Hawk War, looking at mining, logging, farming, and environmental issues.
Discuss real estate with any young family and the subject of schools is certain to come up—in fact, it will likely be a crucial factor in determining where that family lives. Not merely institutions of learning, schools have increasingly become a sign of a neighborhood’s vitality, and city planners have ever more explicitly promoted “good schools” as a means of attracting more affluent families to urban areas, a dynamic process that Maia Bloomfield Cucchiara critically examines in Marketing Schools, Marketing Cities.
Focusing on Philadelphia’s Center City Schools Initiative, she shows how education policy makes overt attempts to prevent, or at least slow, middle-class flight to the suburbs. Navigating complex ethical terrain, she balances the successes of such policies in strengthening urban schools and communities against the inherent social injustices they propagate—the further marginalization and disempowerment of lowerclass families. By asking what happens when affluent parents become “valued customers,” Marketing Schools, Marketing Cities uncovers a problematic relationship between public institutions and private markets, where the former are used to leverage the latter to effect urban transformations.
Oversold and Underused
Larry CUBAN Harvard University Press, 2001 Library of Congress LB1028.5.C77 2001 | Dewey Decimal 371.334
Impelled by a demand for increasing American strength in the new global economy, many educators, public officials, business leaders, and parents argue that school computers and Internet access will improve academic learning and prepare students for an information-based workplace.
But just how valid is this argument? In Oversold and Underused, one of the most respected voices in American education argues that when teachers are not given a say in how the technology might reshape schools, computers are merely souped-up typewriters and classrooms continue to run much as they did a generation ago. In his studies of early childhood, high school, and university classrooms in Silicon Valley, Larry Cuban found that students and teachers use the new technologies far less in the classroom than they do at home, and that teachers who use computers for instruction do so infrequently and unimaginatively.
Cuban points out that historical and organizational economic contexts influence how teachers use technical innovations. Computers can be useful when teachers sufficiently understand the technology themselves, believe it will enhance learning, and have the power to shape their own curricula. But these conditions can't be met without a broader and deeper commitment to public education beyond preparing workers. More attention, Cuban says, needs to be paid to the civic and social goals of schooling, goals that make the question of how many computers are in classrooms trivial.
Nearly the whole of America’s partisan politics centers on a single question: Can markets solve our social problems? And for years this question has played out ferociously in the debates about how we should educate our children. From the growth of vouchers and charter schools to the implementation of No Child Left Behind, policy makers have increasingly turned to market-based models to help improve our schools, believing that private institutions—because they are competitively driven—are better than public ones. With The Public School Advantage, Christopher A. and Sarah Theule Lubienski offer powerful evidence to undercut this belief, showing that public schools in fact outperform private ones.
For decades research showing that students at private schools perform better than students at public ones has been used to promote the benefits of the private sector in education, including vouchers and charter schools—but much of these data are now nearly half a century old. Drawing on two recent, large-scale, and nationally representative databases, the Lubienskis show that any benefit seen in private school performance now is more than explained by demographics. Private schools have higher scores not because they are better institutions but because their students largely come from more privileged backgrounds that offer greater educational support. After correcting for demographics, the Lubienskis go on to show that gains in student achievement at public schools are at least as great and often greater than those at private ones. Even more surprising, they show that the very mechanism that market-based reformers champion—autonomy—may be the crucial factor that prevents private schools from performing better. Alternatively, those practices that these reformers castigate, such as teacher certification and professional reforms of curriculum and instruction, turn out to have a significant effect on school improvement.
Despite our politics, we all agree on the fundamental fact: education deserves our utmost care. The Public School Advantage offers exactly that. By examining schools within the diversity of populations in which they actually operate, it provides not ideologies but facts. And the facts say it clearly: education is better off when provided for the public by the public.
Rhona S. WEINSTEIN Harvard University Press, 2002 Library of Congress LB1062.6.W45 2002 | Dewey Decimal 370.154
Drawing upon a generation of research on self-fulfilling prophecies in education, Reaching Higher argues that our expectations of children are often too low. Weinstein shows that children typed early as "not very smart" can go on to accomplish far more than is expected of them by an educational system with too narrow a definition of ability. She faults the system, pointing out that teachers themselves are harnessed by policies that do not enable them to reach higher for all children.
This edition brings Dewey's educational theory into sharp focus, framing his two classic works by frank assessments, past and present, of the practical applications of Dewey's ideas. In addition to a substantial introduction in which Philip W. Jackson explains why more of Dewey's ideas haven't been put into practice, this edition restores a "lost" chapter, dropped from the book by Dewey in 1915.
When we think about school principals, most of us imagine a figure of vague, yet intimidating authority—for an elementary school student, being sent to the principal’s office is roughly on par with a trip to Orwell’s Room 101. But with School Principal, Dan C. Lortie aims to change that. Much as he did for teachers with his groundbreaking book Schoolteacher, Lortie offers here an intensive and detailed look at principals, painting a compelling portrait of what they do, how they do it, and why.
Lortie begins with a brief history of the job before turning to the daily work of a principal. These men and women, he finds, stand at the center of a constellation of competing interests around and within the school. School district officials, teachers, parents, and students all have needs and demands that frequently clash, and it is the principal’s job to manage these conflicting expectations to best serve the public. Unsurprisingly then, Lortie records his subjects’ professional dissatisfactions, but he also vividly depicts the pleasures of their work and the pride they take in their accomplishments. Finally, School Principal offers a glimpse of the future with an analysis of current issues and trends in education, including the increasing presence of women in the role and the effects of widespread testing mandated by the government.
Lortie’s scope is both broad and deep, offering an eminently useful range of perspectives on his subject. From the day-to-day toil to the long-term course of an entire career, from finding out just what goes on inside that office to mapping out the larger social and organizational context of the job, School Principal is a truly comprehensive account of a little-understood profession.
“Democracy has to be born anew every generation, and education is its midwife,” wrote John Dewey in his classic work The School and Society. In School, Society, and State, Tracy Steffes places that idea at the center of her exploration of the connections between public school reform in the early twentieth century and American political development from 1890 to 1940.
American public schooling, Steffes shows, was not merely another reform project of the Progressive Era, but a central one. She addresses why Americans invested in public education and explains how an array of reformers subtly transformed schooling into a tool of social governance to address the consequences of industrialization and urbanization. By extending the reach of schools, broadening their mandate, and expanding their authority over the well-being of children, the state assumed a defining role in the education—and in the lives—of American families.
In School, Society, and State, Steffes returns the state to the study of the history of education and brings the schools back into our discussion of state power during a pivotal moment in American political development.
To achieve quality education in American schools, we need a better understanding of the way classroom instruction works. Susan S. Stodolsky addresses this need with her pioneering analysis of the interrelations between forms of instruction, levels of student involvement, and subject matter. Her intensive observation of fifth-grade math and social studies classes reveals that subject matter, a variable overlooked in recent research, has a profound effect on instructional practice.
Stodolsky presents a challenge to educational research. She shows that classroom activities are coherent actions shaped by the instructional context—especially what is taught. Stodolsky contradicts the received view of both teaching and learning as uniform and consistent. Individual teachers arrange instruction very differently, depending on what they are teaching, and students respond to instruction very differently, depending on the structure and demands of the lesson.
The instructional forms used in math classes, a "basic" subject, and social studies classes, an "enrichment" subject, differ even when the same teacher conducts both classes. Social studies classes show more diversity in activities, while math classes are very similar to one another. Greater variety is found in social studies within a given teacher's class and when different teachers' classes are compared. Nevertheless, in the classrooms Stodolsky studied, the range of instructional arrangements is very constricted.
Challenging the "back to basics" movement, Stodolsky's study indicates that, regardless of subject matter, students are more responsive to instruction that requires a higher degree of intellectual complexity and performance, to learning situations that involve them in interaction with their peers, and to active modes of learning. Stodolsky also argues that students develop ideas about how to learn a school subject, such as math, by participating in particular activities tied to instruction in the subject. These conceptions about learning are unplanned but enduring and significant consequences of schooling.
The Subject Matters has important implications for instructional practice and the training, education, and supervision of teachers. Here is a new way of understanding the dynamics of teaching and learning that will transform how we think about schools and how we study them.
For the past five years, American public schools have enrolled more students identified as Black, Latinx, American Indian, and Asian than white. At the same time, more than half of US school children now qualify for federally subsidized meals, a marker of poverty. The makeup of schools is rapidly changing, and many districts and school boards are at a loss as to how they can effectively and equitably handle these shifts. Suddenly Diverse is an ethnographic account of two school districts in the Midwest responding to rapidly changing demographics at their schools. It is based on observations and in-depth interviews with school board members and superintendents, as well as staff, community members, and other stakeholders in each district: one serving “Lakeside,” a predominately working class, conservative community and the other serving “Fairview,” a more affluent, liberal community. Erica O. Turner looks at district leaders’ adoption of business-inspired policy tools and the ultimate successes and failures of such responses. Turner’s findings demonstrate that, despite their intentions to promote “diversity” or eliminate “achievement gaps,” district leaders adopted policies and practices that ultimately perpetuated existing inequalities and advanced new forms of racism.
While suggesting some ways forward, Suddenly Diverse shows that, without changes to these managerial policies and practices and larger transformations to the whole system, even district leaders’ best efforts will continue to undermine the promise of educational equity and the realization of more robust public schools.
"I am very impressed by the practicality of [Egan's] introduction of the use of story-forms in curriculum for young children. His model is fascinating, and its various possibilities in a range of fields makes it worth a good look by many kinds of teachers."—Maxine Greene, Teachers College, Columbia
Teacher attrition has long been a significant challenge within the field of education. It is a commonly-cited statistic that almost fifty percent of beginning teachers leave the field within their first five years, to the detriment of schools, students, and their own career development. There Has to be a Better Way offers an essential voice in understanding the dynamics of teacher attrition from the perspective of the teachers themselves. Drawing upon in-depth qualitative research with former teachers from urban schools in multiple regions of the United States, Lynnette Mawhinney and Carol R. Rinke identify several themes that uncover the rarely-spoken reasons why teachers so often willingly leave the classroom. The authors go further to provide concrete recommendations for how school administrators can better support their practicing teachers, as well as how teacher educators might enhance preparation for the next generation of educators. Complete with suggested readings and discussion questions, this book serves as an indispensable resource in understanding and building an effective and productive educational workforce for our nation’s students.
Trusting What You’re Told
Paul L. Harris Harvard University Press, 2012 Library of Congress BF318.H363 2012 | Dewey Decimal 155.41315
If children were little scientists who learn best through firsthand observations and mini-experiments, how would a child discover that the earth is round—never mind conceive of heaven as a place someone might go after death? Trusting What You’re Told begins by reminding us of a basic truth: Most of what we know we learned from others.
Unsettled Belonging tells the stories of young Palestinian Americans as they navigate and construct lives as American citizens. Following these youth throughout their school days, Thea Abu El-Haj examines citizenship as lived experience, dependent on various social, cultural, and political memberships. For them, she shows, life is characterized by a fundamental schism between their sense of transnational belonging and the exclusionary politics of routine American nationalism that ultimately cast them as impossible subjects.
Abu El-Haj explores the school as the primary site where young people from immigrant communities encounter the central discourses about what it means to be American. She illustrates the complex ways social identities are bound up with questions of belonging and citizenship, and she details the processes through which immigrant youth are racialized via everyday nationalistic practices. Finally, she raises a series of crucial questions about how we educate for active citizenship in contemporary times, when more and more people’s lives are shaped within transnational contexts. A compelling account of post-9/11 immigrant life, Unsettled Belonging is a steadfast look at the disjunctures of modern citizenship.
A Well-Tempered Mind investigates the intriguing connection between music education and brain development in children. Peter Perret and Janet Fox use the details of an innovative music education program for elementary school students to explore this fascinating relationship. A Well-Tempered Mind describes how the students of Bolton Elementary in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and a local quintet worked together and then explains the ongoing research that focuses on how music engages the brain’s cognitive capabilities, from memory and language to emotional processing. Music, A Well-Tempered Mind reveals, is a universal language that expands young minds in essential ways.
“The authors put flesh on the feeling shared by all music teachers that the experience of music enhances thought and learning in unexpected directions, well beyond the simple act of enjoying the sound. … It’s exciting and necessary reading for all who are battling to ensure the place of music in the school curriculum."—Times Educational Supplement
In recent decades a growing number of middle-class parents have considered sending their children to—and often end up becoming active in—urban public schools. Their presence can bring long-needed material resources to such schools, but, as Linn Posey-Maddox shows in this study, it can also introduce new class and race tensions, and even exacerbate inequalities. Sensitively navigating the pros and cons of middle-class transformation, When Middle-Class Parents Choose Urban Schools asks whether it is possible for our urban public schools to have both financial security and equitable diversity.
Drawing on in-depth research at an urban elementary school, Posey-Maddox examines parents’ efforts to support the school through their outreach, marketing, and volunteerism. She shows that when middle-class parents engage in urban school communities, they can bring a host of positive benefits, including new educational opportunities and greater diversity. But their involvement can also unintentionally marginalize less-affluent parents and diminish low-income students’ access to the improving schools. In response, Posey-Maddox argues that school reform efforts, which usually equate improvement with rising test scores and increased enrollment, need to have more equity-focused policies in place to ensure that low-income families also benefit from—and participate in—school change.
"Water, water, everywhere . . ." Working with Water, the latest in the popular New Badger History series, teaches young readers about the many ways water has shaped Wisconsin’s history, from glaciers to stewardship. It touches on geography and hydrography; transportation networks of Indians and fur traders; the Erie Canal; shipwrecks, lighthouses, shipping, and shipbuilding; fishing, ricing, "pearling" (clamming), and cranberry cultivation; lumbering, milling, and papermaking; recreation, resorts, tourism, and environmentalism.
The companion Teacher’s Guide and Student Materials engages students in hands-on exploration. It highlights historical processes and encourages multiple learning styles.