The sixty-two short essays in After the Bell describe in many voices the emotional complexity and historical record of one experience most of us have in common: elementary and secondary school, from our first day all the way to graduation. Whether public or private, rural or urban, school is the first place we navigate on our own, learning how we stand apart, how we stand out, and where we do or don't fit in.
The essays are by emerging as well as established fiction writers, poets, social commentators, and educational theorists. Told from the point of view of students, teachers, parents, and administrators through the multiple perspectives or race, class, physical and intellectual abilities, and sexually, the stories reveal how memories of our school days haunt and sustain us.
Building a New Educational State examines the dynamic process of black education reform during the Jim Crow era in North Carolina and Mississippi. Through extensive archival research, Joan Malczewski explores the initiatives of foundations and reformers at the top, the impact of their work at the state and local level, and the agency of southerners—including those in rural black communities—to demonstrate the importance of schooling to political development in the South. Along the way, Malczewski challenges us to reevaluate the relationships among political actors involved in education reform.
Malczewski presents foundation leaders as self-conscious state builders and policy entrepreneurs who aimed to promote national ideals through a public system of education—efforts they believed were especially critical in the South. Black education was an important component of this national agenda. Through extensive efforts to create a more centralized and standard system of public education aimed at bringing isolated and rural black schools into the public system, schools became important places for expanding the capacity of state and local governance. Schooling provided opportunities to reorganize local communities and augment black agency in the process. When foundations realized they could not unilaterally impose their educational vision on the South, particularly in black communities, they began to collaborate with locals, thereby opening political opportunity in rural areas. Unfortunately, while foundations were effective at developing the institutional configurations necessary for education reform, they were less successful at implementing local programs consistently due to each state’s distinctive political and institutional context.
Call Me Henri
Lorraine López Northwestern University Press, 2006 Library of Congress PZ7.L876363Cal 2006
Enrique, a young boy at the heart of Lorraine López's novel, faces abuse at home and danger on the barrio streets. Yet he is driven to succeed by the desire to join that "other America" he sees on TV and in the movies, and is aided in his quest by compassionate teachers. His ambition finds expression in his determination to drop his ESL class in favor of taking French, and his story begins, Call me Henri.
Lorraine López (author of Soy la Avon Lady and Other Stories) has created a vivid picture of barrio life, filled with honesty, insight, and humor for young adults. She paints a balanced and detailed landscape of Enrique's world. Although Enrique is confused and angered by his mother's refusal to stand up for him against the abuse of his stepfather, he also draws strength from the supportive and loving family of his friend Francisco. While some of his teachers are uncaring or inept, others provide help and encouragement at critical moments in his life.
When Enrique witnesses his friend Horacio gunned down in a drive-by shooting and is seen by the assailants, gang members set out to kill him. As the novel reaches its climax, Enrique must make some agonizing decisions.
Although specifically about barrio life, this novel is universal in its themes—the drive for success, the desire for love and family support, and the need for true friendship. López's fully delineated characters provide a rich and credible mural of our human comedy.
A series of policy shifts over the past decade promises to change how Americans decide where to send their children to school. In theory, the boom in standardized test scores and charter schools will allow parents to evaluate their assigned neighborhood school, or move in search of a better option. But what kind of data do parents actually use while choosing schools? Are there differences among suburban and urban families? How do parents’ choices influence school and residential segregation in America? Choosing Homes, Choosing Schools presents a breakthrough analysis of the new era of school choice, and what it portends for American neighborhoods. The distinguished contributors to Choosing Homes, Choosing Schools investigate the complex relationship between education, neighborhood social networks, and larger patterns of inequality. Paul Jargowsky reviews recent trends in segregation by race and class. His analysis shows that segregation between blacks and whites has declined since 1970, but remains extremely high. Moreover, white families with children are less likely than childless whites to live in neighborhoods with more minority residents. In her chapter, Annette Lareau draws on interviews with parents in three suburban neighborhoods to analyze school-choice decisions. Surprisingly, she finds that middle- and upper-class parents do not rely on active research, such as school tours or test scores. Instead, most simply trust advice from friends and other people in their network. Their decision-making process was largely informal and passive. Eliot Weinginer complements this research when he draws from his data on urban parents. He finds that these families worry endlessly about the selection of a school, and that parents of all backgrounds actively consider alternatives, including charter schools. Middle- and upper-class parents relied more on federally mandated report cards, district websites, and online forums, while working-class parents use network contacts to gain information on school quality. Little previous research has explored what role school concerns play in the preferences of white and minority parents for particular neighborhoods. Featuring innovative work from more than a dozen scholars, Choosing Homes, Choosing Schools adroitly addresses this gap and provides a firmer understanding of how Americans choose where to live and send their children to school.
Henry Green University of Chicago Press, 1985 Library of Congress PR6013.R416C6 1985 | Dewey Decimal 823.912
Concluding is probably the most lyrical novel by a writer whom Rebecca West has called "the most original" of his time. "Within the compass of a summer's day for all time yet intensely and closely centered upon a particular time and place, we are made aware of man's predicament in a world of transcendent sadness and beauty."—Horizon
"[A] novel of projections, protractions, long shots, and shadows flying ahead, a slow fall. . . . The sinister world of Concluding is . . . beautiful, side-lit and colored like an undersea kingdom."—from the Foreword by Eudora Welty
Why—contrary to much expert and popular opinion—more education may not be the answer to skyrocketing inequality.
For generations, Americans have looked to education as the solution to economic disadvantage. Yet, although more people are earning degrees, the gap between rich and poor is widening. Cristina Groeger delves into the history of this seeming contradiction, explaining how education came to be seen as a panacea even as it paved the way for deepening inequality.
The Education Trap returns to the first decades of the twentieth century, when Americans were grappling with the unprecedented inequities of the Gilded Age. Groeger’s test case is the city of Boston, which spent heavily on public schools. She examines how workplaces came to depend on an army of white-collar staff, largely women and second-generation immigrants, trained in secondary schools. But Groeger finds that the shift to more educated labor had negative consequences—both intended and unintended—for many workers. Employers supported training in schools in order to undermine the influence of craft unions, and so shift workplace power toward management. And advanced educational credentials became a means of controlling access to high-paying professional and business jobs, concentrating power and wealth. Formal education thus became a central force in maintaining inequality.
The idea that more education should be the primary means of reducing inequality may be appealing to politicians and voters, but Groeger warns that it may be a dangerous policy trap. If we want a more equitable society, we should not just prescribe more time in the classroom, but fight for justice in the workplace.
This study of educational policy from Lyndon Johnson through Bill Clinton focuses on three specific issues--public school aid, non-public (especially Catholic) school aid, and school desegregation--that speak to the proper role of the federal government in education as well as to how education issues embody larger questions of opportunity, exclusion, and equality in American society. Lawrence J. McAndrews traces the evolution of policy as each president developed (or avoided developing) a stance toward these issues and discusses the repercussions and implications of policy decisions for the educational community over nearly four decades.
The 2016 presidential election campaign and its aftermath have underscored worrisome trends in the present state of our democracy: the extreme polarization of the electorate, the dismissal of people with opposing views, and the widespread acceptance and circulation of one-sided and factually erroneous information. Only a small proportion of those who are eligible actually vote, and a declining number of citizens actively participate in local community activities.
In Flunking Democracy, Michael A. Rebell makes the case that this is not a recent problem, but rather that for generations now, America’s schools have systematically failed to prepare students to be capable citizens. Rebell analyzes the causes of this failure, provides a detailed analysis of what we know about how to prepare students for productive citizenship, and considers examples of best practices. Rebell further argues that this civic decline is also a legal failure—a gross violation of both federal and state constitutions that can only be addressed by the courts. Flunking Democracy concludes with specific recommendations for how the courts can and should address this deficiency, and is essential reading for anyone interested in education, the law, and democratic society.
God of Beer
Garret Keizer University Press of New England, 2016 Library of Congress PZ7.K26Go 2016
In the remote mill town of Salmon Falls, Vermont, the dead of winter can feel like death itself. Jobs are scarce, kids are bored, and it sometimes seems there’s nothing better to do than drink. But when eighteen-year-old Kyle Nelson and a motley group of friends decide to challenge both the legal drinking age and the local drinking culture with a daring act of civil disobedience, they find there’s more to do than they ever imagined. Garret Keizer’s gripping novel about young men and women in revolt bears witness to the power of ideas, the bonds of friendship, and the trials of working-class kids on the margins of American society. His story never flinches in the face of those forces that conspire against, but needn’t overcome, the resilient spirits of the young.
In Heartland Excursions, a legendary ethnomusicologist takes the reader along for a delightful, wide-ranging tour of his workplace. Bruno Nettl provides an insightful, sometimes tongue-in-cheek, always pithy ethnography of midwestern university schools of music from a different perspective in each of four chapters, alternating among three distinct voices: the longtime professor, the "native informant," and the outside observer, an "ethnomusicologist from Mars."
If you've ever been to a concert or been connected to a university with a school of music, you ll discover yourself--or someone you know--in these pages.
"In the music building you can't tell the quick from the dead without a program."--Chapter 1, "In the Service of the Masters"
"The great ability of a violin student whom I observed was established when his dean was persuaded to accompany him."--Chapter 2, "Society of Musicians"
"Some teachers of music history would accuse students who listen to Elvis Presley not only of taking time away from hearing Brahms, but also of polluting themselves."--Chapter 3, "A Place for All Musics?"
At commencement, the graduates "were perhaps not aware that they had just participated in an event in which the principal values of the Western musical world . . . had been taken out of storage bins for annual exercise."--Chapter 4, "Forays into the Repertory"
At fifteen, Victor Rios found himself a human target—flat on his ass amid a hail of shotgun fire, desperate for money and a place on the street. Faced with the choice of escalating a drug turf war or eking out a living elsewhere, he turned to a teacher, who mentored him and helped him find a job at an auto shop. That job would alter the course of his whole life—putting him on the road to college and eventually a PhD. Now, Rios is a rising star, hailed for his work studying the lives of African American and Latino youth.
In Human Targets, Rios takes us to the streets of California, where we encounter young men who find themselves in much the same situation as fifteen-year-old Victor. We follow young gang members into schools, homes, community organizations, and detention facilities, watch them interact with police, grow up to become fathers, get jobs, get rap sheets—and in some cases get killed. What is it that sets apart young people like Rios who succeed and survive from the ones who don’t? Rios makes a powerful case that the traditional good kid/bad kid, street kid/decent kid dichotomy is much too simplistic, arguing instead that authorities and institutions help create these identities—and that they can play an instrumental role in providing young people with the resources for shifting between roles. In Rios’s account, to be a poor Latino youth is to be a human target—victimized and considered an enemy by others, viewed as a threat to law enforcement and schools, and burdened by stigma, disrepute, and punishment. That has to change.
This is not another sensationalistic account of gang bangers. Instead, the book is a powerful look at how authority figures succeed—and fail—at seeing the multi-faceted identities of at-risk youths, youths who succeed—and fail—at demonstrating to the system that they are ready to change their lives. In our post-Ferguson era, Human Targets is essential reading.
Inside Charter Schools
Bruce Fuller Harvard University Press, 2000 Library of Congress LB2806.36.I57 2000 | Dewey Decimal 371.01
Deepening disaffection with conventional public schools has inspired flight to private schools, home schooling, and new alternatives, such as charter schools. Barely a decade old, the charter school movement has attracted a colorful band of supporters, from presidential candidates, to ethnic activists, to the religious Right. At present there are about 1,700 charter schools, with total enrollment estimated to reach one million early in the century. Yet, until now, little has been known about the inner workings of these small, inventive schools that rely on public money but are largely independent of local school boards.
Inside Charter Schools takes readers into six strikingly different schools, from an evangelical home-schooling charter in California to a back-to-basics charter in a black neighborhood in Lansing, Michigan. With a keen eye for human aspirations and dilemmas, the authors provide incisive analysis of the challenges and problems facing this young movement.
Do charter schools really spur innovation, or do they simply exacerbate tribal forms of American pluralism? Inside Charter Schools provides shrewd and illuminating studies of the struggles and achievements of these new schools, and offers practical lessons for educators, scholars, policymakers, and parents.
A dialogue among leading figures in history education research and practice.
The “knowledge turn” in curriculum studies has drawn attention to the central role that the knowledge of the disciplines plays in education and the need for fresh perspectives on knowledge-building. Knowing History in Schools explores these issues in the context of the discipline of history through a dialogue between the eminent sociologist of curriculum Michael Young, and leading figures in history education research and practice from a range of traditions and contexts. Focusing on Young’s “powerful knowledge” theorization of the curriculum, and on his more recent articulations of the “powers” of knowledge, this dialogue explores the many complexities facing history education. The book attempts to clarify how educators can best conceptualize knowledge-building in history education, and it will be of interest to history education students, history teachers, teacher educators, and history curriculum designers, as they navigate the challenges that knowledge-building processes pose for learning history in schools.
Learning by Heart brings together a unique and diverse collection of poems about the experience of school as seen through the eyes of America's best contemporary poets. These poets capture the educational process not only in the classroom but as it takes place in libraries and hallways, on playing fields and at dances. Alternately joyous and defiant, they demonstrate how it is that young people come to find their place in the world.
Most of the poems in this anthology were written between 1970 and 1995, a period that encompasses both the halcyon years of poets-in-the-schools programs and the primary and secondary school years of many of the poets included. Their poems define school in that most contemporary sense — “with a multitude of voices”—reflecting perspectives from African American, Hispanic American, Asian American, and Native American as well as Anglo American backgrounds, from both public and private schools in rural and urban environments.
Learning by Heart offers a profound and timely statement about schools and learning as well as the role of art in education. Finally, these poems validate that most important lesson: even the most common of experiences is worthy of creative expression.
America's urban public schools are in crisis. Compared with their suburban counterparts, urban students have lower test scores and higher dropout rates. In an attempt to improve educational quality, responsibility for school governance has been handed over to mayors in several U.S. cities. Based on extensive research, including more than eighty in-depth interviews, Mayors and Schools examines whether mayoral control results in higher student achievement and considers the social costs of diminished community involvement. Using a comparative case study approach, Stefanie Chambers researches the impact of mayoral educational control in two big-city school districts, Chicago and Cleveland. On the whole, she finds, student test scores have improved since the takeovers but there are now fewer opportunities for grassroots participation in the educational system by minority community members. Chambers contends that these findings have important implications for democratic theory, arguing that urban schools cannot be successful in the long run without the active participation of local citizens.
Nostalgic reminders of a time now past, one-room schoolhouses are deeply embedded in our heritage. Decades after their original purpose and inhabitants have vanished, they dot the rural landscape in all conditions, from neglected and near collapse to handsomely renovated places repurposed into a new existence as living quarters. Today no matter their state they stand as miniature gems of nineteenth-century American history as well as charming examples of rural architecture---above all, things to be treasured and preserved. Mary Keithan's Michigan One-Room Schoolhouses is a beautifully illustrated chronicle that details nearly a hundred of the state's early schoolhouses. Together with information about each schoolhouse's architecture and history, including interviews with former students and teachers, Keithan's photographs bring these structures back to life and assure their place in history.
Mary Keithan is a professional photographer living in Ray, Michigan. Her previous books include Michigan's Heritage Barns and A Time in Michigan: A Photographic Series. New York Times critic Vicki Goldberg selected Keithan's 1995 image "Desert Storm Barn" for the Light Impression Biennial.
After the United States invaded Puerto Rico in 1898, the new unincorporated territory sought to define its future. Seeking to shape the next generation and generate popular support for colonial rule, U.S. officials looked to education as a key venue for promoting the benefits of Americanization. At the same time, public schools became a site where Puerto Rican teachers, parents, and students could formulate and advance their own projects for building citizenship. In Negotiating Empire, Solsiree del Moral demonstrates how these colonial intermediaries aimed for regeneration and progress through education.
Rather than seeing U.S. empire in Puerto Rico during this period as a contest between two sharply polarized groups, del Moral views their interaction as a process of negotiation. Although educators and families rejected some tenets of Americanization, such as English-language instruction, they also redefined and appropriated others to their benefit to increase literacy and skills required for better occupations and social mobility. Pushing their citizenship-building vision through the schools, Puerto Ricans negotiated a different school project—one that was reformist yet radical, modern yet traditional, colonial yet nationalist.
The Neighbor’s Kid tells the story of what twenty-four year-old Philip Brand discovered regarding American education when he drove his car cross-country during the 2008-09 school year visiting two schools in each of forty-nine states. The schools were public and private, religious and secular, urban and rural, typical and unusual. Brand wanted to learn first-hand what students, parents, teachers, and principals think about their elementary and secondary schools and what they expect from education. His principal discovery: When it comes to picking a school parents care most about the kids with whom their own children associate. Not the curriculum, not the teachers, but the other kids. That concern has important consequences for how school districts, states and the federal government set education policy. A second conclusion: Government policymakers cannot set standards of educational “achievement” because true education is intimately tied to the cultural and civic experiences of families and communities.
Who holds ultimate authority for the education of America's children—teachers or parents? Although the relationship between home and school has changed dramatically over the decades, William Cutler's fascinating history argues that it has always been a political one, and his book uncovers for the first time how and why the balance of power has shifted over time. Starting with parental dominance in the mid-nineteenth century, Cutler chronicles how schools' growing bureaucratization and professionalization allowed educators to gain increasing control over the schooling and lives of the children they taught. Central to his story is the role of parent-teacher associations, which helped transform an adversarial relationship into a collaborative one. Yet parents have also been controlled by educators through PTAs, leading to the perception that they are "company unions."
Cutler shows how in the 1920s and 1930s schools expanded their responsibility for children's well-being outside the classroom. These efforts sowed the seeds for later conflict as schools came to be held accountable for solving society's problems. Finally, he brings the reader into recent decades, in which a breakdown of trust, racial tension, and "parents' rights" have taken the story full circle, with parents and schools once again at odds.
Cutler's book is an invaluable guide to understanding how parent-teacher cooperation, which is essential for our children's educational success, might be achieved.
John Newman invites teachers to take their students on a playwriting voyage in Playwriting in Schools. The book examines how students who learn to write plays and work with a professional playwright in residence empower themselves and gives instructors tools for teaching the process of playwriting in a way that makes space for the student voice. Playwriting in Schools investigates two main approaches for adult teachers and playwrights to use playwriting as a strategy for student self-expression. One approach is through the creation of fully-developed plays, written either by individual students with instruction from teachers or through interactions between a team of students and a teacher-playwright. The other approach is developing plays through collaborations among professional playwrights, teachers, and student actors, crafting new plays in ways that suit the needs, interests, and learning of young people. Throughout, Newman and the teachers and playwrights he features express themselves with an artistic generosity that encourages us to widen the scope of our own programs by introducing students to the vast ocean of playwriting and play development.
It’s early fall when Ricky and Ellie travel to Portland from their homes in the Cascade Mountains for a weekend school exchange. Much to their surprise, they find an astounding variety of wildlife in the city. With the help of their new friends, Jenny and Marcus, they explore Portland’s habitats, from its streets and gardens to woodlands, streams, and river banks. Ellie tests her bird-watching skills while Ricky learns ways to count fish in streams. Together they are fascinated by stunning wildlife in the city’s restored wetlands.
The kids find insects and reptiles moving about garden patches and bioswales, song birds and squirrels in neighborhood tree canopies, falcons and eagles crossing spacious river floodplains. As they record and map how wildlife and people are connected in these city spaces, they become community scientists, contributing to actual regional databases. After they see the young trees Marcus planted in his neighborhood, the feeders Jenny tends for hummingbirds, and the fascinating wildlife underpasses built in the wetlands, Ricky and Ellie realize there are many ways people actively care for the city’s wildlife.
In this fourth and final story of their award-winning children’s series, M. L. Herring’s vivid pen and watercolor illustrations complement the engaging storytelling of Judith Li. Readers will delight in the journal pages and maps “hand drawn” by Ricky and Ellie at the end of each chapter, while the “Dear Reader” section offers further tips for budding citizen scientists.
Detroit's public school system, lauded as a model for the nation in the 1920s and 1930s, has become one of the city's most conspicuous failures. Jeffrey Mirel draws on Detroit's experience to offer a new interpretation of urban educational decline in the twentieth century, suggesting specific answers to what ails America's public schools and how public education can be improved.
Jeffrey Mirel has won two prestigious book awards for The Rise and Fall of an Urban School System. Stanford University and the American Educational Research Association awarded the book the 1994-95 "Outstanding Book Award" stating, "Mirel's documentation and interpretations serve as valuable and refreshing commentary on the current status of urban education, and by extension, all American education and society. . . . The book is admirably written with touches of drama, pathos, and hope." The American Educational Studies Association awarded Mirel the 1994 "Critics' Choice Award" for his outstanding contribution to Educational Studies.
This new paperback edition includes a comprehensive epilogue focusing on recent events in Detroit educational reform. Detailing the formation and rapid collapse of a campaign in the late 1980s and early 1990s to radically restructure the Detroit public schools, Mirel's new analysis of this experiment illuminates both the persistence of historical trends in the school district and the possibilities for change.
Jeffrey Mirel is David L Angus Collegiate Professor of Education, University of Michigan.
“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.
Schools & Social Justice
R. W. Connell Temple University Press, 1993 Library of Congress LC192.C66 1993 | Dewey Decimal 370.19
Social justice, R.W. Connell contends, is an inextricable part of any educational system, and democratic societies should give priority to the educational needs of the disadvantaged. In this remarkable manifesto, one of education's most distinguished voices cautions that school systems dealing unjustly with their disadvantaged students degrade the quality of education for all.
The book's compelling, well-reasoned arguments call for new social policies. Drawing on research experience in the United States, Canada, Britain, and Australia, Connell demonstrates the weakness in programs that attempt merely to establish equal opportunity. He observes that scholarships, compensatory education, desegregation, and affirmative action focus on distributive justice, rather than on the nature of the education.
Curricular justice, Connell argues, is just as crucial as distributive justice. Considering race, class, and gender issues, he examines the relation between knowledge and its social content. He describes how curricular content, presentation, and means of student assessment can perpetuate social injustice. Tracing the elitist sources of various curricula, Schools and Social Justice urges reconceptualizing the curriculum from the point of view of the disadvantaged and offers examples of successful efforts to do this.
The problems commonly associated with inner-city schools were not nearly as pervasive a century ago, when black children in most northern cities attended school alongside white children. In Schools Betrayed, her innovative history of race and urban education, Kathryn M. Neckerman tells the story of how and why these schools came to serve black children so much worse than their white counterparts.
Focusing on Chicago public schools between 1900 and 1960, Neckerman compares the circumstances of blacks and white immigrants, groups that had similarly little wealth and status yet came to gain vastly different benefits from their education. Their divergent educational outcomes, she contends, stemmed from Chicago officials’ decision to deal with rising African American migration by segregating schools and denying black students equal resources. And it deepened, she shows, because of techniques for managing academic failure that only reinforced inequality. Ultimately, these tactics eroded the legitimacy of the schools in Chicago’s black community, leaving educators unable to help their most disadvantaged students.
Schools Betrayed will be required reading for anyone who cares about urban education.
This richly researched and impressively argued work is a history of public schooling in Alabama in the half century following the Civil War. It engages with depth and sophistication Alabama’s social and cultural life in the period that can be characterized by the three “R”s: Reconstruction, redemption, and racism. Alabama was a mostly rural, relatively poor, and culturally conservative state, and its schools reflected the assumptions of that society.
As battles over school desegregation helped define a generation of civil rights activism in the United States, a less heralded yet equally important movement emerged in Chicago. Following World War II, an unprecedented number of African Americans looked beyond the issue of racial integration by creating their own schools. This golden age of private education gave African Americans unparalleled autonomy to avoid discriminatory public schools and to teach their children in the best ways they saw fit. In Schools of Our Own, Worth Kamili Hayes recounts how a diverse contingent of educators, nuns, and political activists embraced institution building as the most effective means to attain quality education. Schools of Our Own makes a fascinating addition to scholarly debates about education, segregation, African American history, and Chicago, still relevant in contemporary discussions about the fate of American public schooling.
The one-room schoolhouse may be a thing of the past, but it is the foundation on which modern education rests. Sue Thomas now traces the progress of early education in Missouri, demonstrating how important early schools were in taming the frontier.
A Second Home offers an in-depth and entertaining look at education in the days when pioneers had to postpone schooling for their children until they could provide shelter for their families and clear their fields for crops, while well-to-do families employed tutors or sent their children back east. Thomas tells of the earliest known English school at the Ramsay settlement near Cape Girardeau, then of the opening of a handful of schools around the time of the Louisiana Purchase—such as Benjamin Johnson’s school on Sandy Creek, Christopher Schewe’s school for boys when St. Louis was still a village, and the Ste. Genevieve Academy, where poor and Indian children were taught free of charge. She describes how, as communities grew, additional private schools opened—including “dame schools,” denominational schools, and subscription schools—until public education came into its own in the 1850s.
Drawing on oral histories collected throughout the state, as well as private diaries and archival research, the book is full of firsthand accounts of what education once was like—including descriptions of the furnishings, teaching methods, and school-day activities in one-room log schools. It also includes the experiences of former slaves and free blacks following the Civil War when they were newly entitled to public education, with discussions of the contributions of John Berry Meachum, James Milton Turner, and other African American leaders.
With its remembrances of simpler times, A Second Home tells of community gatherings in country schools and events such as taffy pulls and spelling bees, and offers tales of stern teachers, student pranks, and schoolyard games. Accompanying illustrations illuminate family and school life in the colonial, territorial, early statehood, and post-Civil War periods. For readers who recall older family members’ accounts or who are simply fascinated by the past, this is a book that will conjure images of a bygone time while opening a new window on Missouri history.
Schools are complex social settings where students, teachers, administrators, and parents interact to shape a child's educational experience. Any effort to improve educational outcomes for America's children requires a dynamic understanding of the environments in which children learn. In The Social Organization of Schooling, editors Larry Hedges and Barbara Schneider assemble researchers from the fields of education, organizational theory, and sociology to provide a new framework for understanding and analyzing America's schools and the many challenges they face. The Social Organization of Schooling closely examines the varied components that make up a school's social environment. Contributors Adam Gamoran, Ramona Gunter, and Tona Williams focus on the social organization of teaching. Using intensive case studies, they show how positive professional relations among teachers contribute to greater collaboration, the dissemination of effective teaching practices, and ultimately, a better learning environment for children. Children learn more from better teachers, but those best equipped to teach often opt for professions with higher social stature, such as law or medicine. In his chapter, Robert Dreeben calls for the establishment of universal principles and practices to define good teaching, arguing that such standards are necessary to legitimize teaching as a high status profession. The Social Organization of Schooling also looks at how social norms in schools are shaped and reinforced by interactions among teachers and students. Sociologist Maureen Hallinan shows that students who are challenged intellectually and accepted socially are more likely to embrace school norms and accept responsibility for their own actions. Using classroom observations, surveys, and school records, Daniel McFarland finds that group-based classroom activities are effective tools in promoting both social and scholastic development in adolescents. The Social Organization of Schooling also addresses educational reforms and the way they affect a school's social structures. Examining how testing policies affect children's opportunities to learn, Chandra Muller and Kathryn Schiller find that policies which increased school accountability boosted student enrollment in math courses, reflecting a shift in the school culture towards higher standards. Employing a variety of analytical methods, The Social Organization of Schooling provides a sound understanding of the social mechanisms at work in our educational system. This important volume brings a fresh perspective to the many ongoing debates in education policy and is essential reading for anyone concerned with the future of America's children.
Spare the Rod argues against how school discipline is increasingly integrated with prisons and policing, instead they argue for an approach to that aligns with the moral community that schools could and should be.
In Spare the Rod, historian Campbell F. Scribner and philosopher Bryan R. Warnick investigate the history and philosophy of America’s punishment and discipline practices in schools. To delve into this controversial subject, they first ask questions of meaning. How have concepts of discipline and punishment in schools changed over time? What purposes are they supposed to serve? And what can they tell us about our assumptions about education? They then explore the justifications. Are public school educators ever justified in punishing or disciplining students? Are discipline and punishment necessary for students’ moral education, or do they fundamentally have no place in education at all? If some form of punishment is justified in schools, what ethical guidelines should be followed?
The authors argue that as schools have grown increasingly bureaucratic over the last century, formalizing disciplinary systems and shifting from physical punishments to forms of spatial or structural punishment such as in-school suspension, school discipline has not only come to resemble the operation of prisons or policing, but has grown increasingly integrated with those institutions. These changes and structures are responsible for the school-to-prison pipeline. They show that these shifts disregard the unique status of schools as spaces of moral growth and community oversight, and are incompatible with the developmental environment of education. What we need, they argue, is an approach to discipline and punishment that fits with the sort of moral community that schools could and should be.
John Dewey was one of the most prominent philosophers and educational thinkers of the twentieth century, and his influence on modern education continues today. In Teachers, Leaders, and Schools: Essays by John Dewey, educators Douglas J. Simpson and Sam F. Stack Jr. have gathered some of Dewey’s most user-friendly and insightful essays concerning education with the purpose of aiding potential and practicing teachers, administrators, and policy makers to prepare students for participation in democratic society.
Selected largely, but not exclusively, for their accessibility, relevance, and breadth of information, these articles are grouped into five parts—The Classroom Teacher, The School Curriculum, The Educational Leader, The Ideal School, and The Democratic Society. Each part includes an introductory essay that connects Dewey’s thoughts not only to each other but also to current educational concerns. The sections build on one another, revealing Dewey’s educational theories and interests and illustrating how his thoughts remain relevant today.
Despite being the centerpiece of rural educational reform for most of the twentieth century, rural school consolidation has received remarkably little scholarly attention. The social history and geography of the movement, the widespread resistance it provoked, and the cultural landscapes its proponents sought to transform have remained largely unexplored. Now in There Goes the Neighborhood David Reynolds remedies this situation by examining the rural school consolidation movement in that most midwestern of midwestern states, Iowa.
From 1912 to 1921, Iowa was the center of national attention as state and local education leaders attempted to implement a new model of rural education, intended to be emulated throughout the rest of the Midwest. As part of the Country Life movement—whose leaders sought to create a more modern future for farm families, an alternative form of rural community that combined the advantages of both city and country—the initially successful model collapsed in the early twenties, not to be revived until after World War II. Reynolds focuses on how and why rural school consolidation was so vigorously resisted in most of Iowa, why it failed in the twenties, and what its lasting consequences have been.
Combining social and oral history, modern social theory, historical geography, and ethnography, There Goes the Neighborhood is the most authoritative analysis to date of the politics, geography, and social history of rural school consolidation in any state.
Most Americans agree on the necessity of education reform, but there is little consensus about how this goal might be achieved. The rhetoric of standards and vouchers has occupied center stage, polarizing public opinion and affording little room for reflection on the intangible conditions that make for good schools. Trust in Schools engages this debate with a compelling examination of the importance of social relationships in the successful implementation of school reform. Over the course of three years, Bryk and Schneider, together with a diverse team of other researchers and school practitioners, studied reform in twelve Chicago elementary schools. Each school was undergoing extensive reorganization in response to the Chicago School Reform Act of 1988, which called for greater involvement of parents and local community leaders in their neighborhood schools. Drawing on years longitudinal survey and achievement data, as well as in-depth interviews with principals, teachers, parents, and local community leaders, the authors develop a thorough account of how effective social relationships—which they term relational trust—can serve as a prime resource for school improvement. Using case studies of the network of relationships that make up the school community, Bryk and Schneider examine how the myriad social exchanges that make up daily life in a school community generate, or fail to generate, a successful educational environment. The personal dynamics among teachers, students, and their parents, for example, influence whether students regularly attend school and sustain their efforts in the difficult task of learning. In schools characterized by high relational trust, educators were more likely to experiment with new practices and work together with parents to advance improvements. As a result, these schools were also more likely to demonstrate marked gains in student learning. In contrast, schools with weak trust relations saw virtually no improvement in their reading or mathematics scores. Trust in Schools demonstrates convincingly that the quality of social relationships operating in and around schools is central to their functioning, and strongly predicts positive student outcomes. This book offer insights into how trust can be built and sustained in school communities, and identifies some features of public school systems that can impede such development. Bryk and Schneider show how a broad base of trust across a school community can provide a critical resource as education professional and parents embark on major school reforms. A Volume in the American Sociological Association's Rose Series in Sociology
Chicago has long struggled with racial residential segregation, high rates of poverty, and deepening class stratification, and it can be a challenging place for adolescents to grow up. Unequal City examines the ways in which Chicago’s most vulnerable residents navigate their neighborhoods, life opportunities, and encounters with the law. In this pioneering analysis of the intersection of race, place, and opportunity, sociologist and criminal justice expert Carla Shedd illuminates how schools either reinforce or ameliorate the social inequalities that shape the worlds of these adolescents.
Shedd draws from an array of data and in-depth interviews with Chicago youth to offer new insight into this understudied group. Focusing on four public high schools with differing student bodies, Shedd reveals how the predominantly low-income African American students at one school encounter obstacles their more affluent, white counterparts on the other side of the city do not face. Teens often travel long distances to attend school which, due to Chicago’s segregated and highly unequal neighborhoods, can involve crossing class, race, and gang lines. As Shedd explains, the disadvantaged teens who traverse these boundaries daily develop a keen “perception of injustice,” or the recognition that their economic and educational opportunities are restricted by their place in the social hierarchy.
Adolescents’ worldviews are also influenced by encounters with law enforcement while traveling to school and during school hours. Shedd tracks the rise of metal detectors, surveillance cameras, and pat-downs at certain Chicago schools. Along with police procedures like stop-and-frisk, these prison-like practices lead to distrust of authority and feelings of powerlessness among the adolescents who experience mistreatment either firsthand or vicariously. Shedd finds that the racial composition of the student body profoundly shapes students’ perceptions of injustice. The more diverse a school is, the more likely its students of color will recognize whether they are subject to discriminatory treatment. By contrast, African American and Hispanic youth whose schools and neighborhoods are both highly segregated and highly policed are less likely to understand their individual and group disadvantage due to their lack of exposure to youth of differing backgrounds.
We Are a College at War weaves together the individual World War II experiences of students and faculty at the all-female Rockford College (now Rockford University) in Rockford, Illinois, to draw a broader picture of the role American women and college students played during this defining period in U.S. history. It uses the Rockford community’s letters, speeches, newspaper stories, and personal recollections to demonstrate how American women during the Second World War claimed the right to be everywhere—in factories and other traditionally male workplaces, and even on the front lines—and links their efforts to the rise of feminism and the fight for women’s rights in the 1960s and 1970s.
As the incomes of affluent and poor families have diverged over the past three decades, so too has the educational performance of their children. But how exactly do the forces of rising inequality affect the educational attainment and life chances of low-income children? In Whither Opportunity? a distinguished team of economists, sociologists, and experts in social and education policy examines the corrosive effects of unequal family resources, disadvantaged neighborhoods, insecure labor markets, and worsening school conditions on K-12 education. This groundbreaking book illuminates the ways rising inequality is undermining one of the most important goals of public education—the ability of schools to provide children with an equal chance at academic and economic success. The most ambitious study of educational inequality to date, Whither Opportunity? analyzes how social and economic conditions surrounding schools affect school performance and children’s educational achievement. The book shows that from earliest childhood, parental investments in children’s learning affect reading, math, and other attainments later in life. Contributor Meredith Phillip finds that between birth and age six, wealthier children will have spent as many as 1,300 more hours than poor children on child enrichment activities such as music lessons, travel, and summer camp. Greg Duncan, George Farkas, and Katherine Magnuson demonstrate that a child from a poor family is two to four times as likely as a child from an affluent family to have classmates with low skills and behavior problems – attributes which have a negative effect on the learning of their fellow students. As a result of such disparities, contributor Sean Reardon finds that the gap between rich and poor children’s math and reading achievement scores is now much larger than it was fifty years ago. And such income-based gaps persist across the school years, as Martha Bailey and Sue Dynarski document in their chapter on the growing income-based gap in college completion. Whither Opportunity? also reveals the profound impact of environmental factors on children’s educational progress and schools’ functioning. Elizabeth Ananat, Anna Gassman-Pines, and Christina Gibson-Davis show that local job losses such as those caused by plant closings can lower the test scores of students with low socioeconomic status, even students whose parents have not lost their jobs. They find that community-wide stress is most likely the culprit. Analyzing the math achievement of elementary school children, Stephen Raudenbush, Marshall Jean, and Emily Art find that students learn less if they attend schools with high student turnover during the school year – a common occurrence in poor schools. And David Kirk and Robert Sampson show that teacher commitment, parental involvement, and student achievement in schools in high-crime neighborhoods all tend to be low. For generations of Americans, public education provided the springboard to upward mobility. This pioneering volume casts a stark light on the ways rising inequality may now be compromising schools’ functioning, and with it the promise of equal opportunity in America.
A probing and prescient consideration of writing as an instrument of punishment
Writing tends to be characterized as a positive aspect of literacy that helps us to express our thoughts, to foster interpersonal communication, and to archive ideas. However, there is a vast array of evidence that emphasizes the counterbelief that writing has the power to punish, shame, humiliate, control, dehumanize, fetishize, and transform those who are subjected to it. In Writing as Punishment in Schools, Courts, and Everyday Life, Spencer Schaffner looks at many instances of writing as punishment, including forced tattooing, drunk shaming, court-ordered letters of apology, and social media shaming, with the aim of bringing understanding and recognition to the coupling of literacy and subjection.
Writing as Punishment in Schools, Courts, and Everyday Life is a fascinating inquiry into how sinister writing can truly be and directly questions the educational ideal that powerful writing is invariably a public good. While Schaffner does look at the darker side of writing, he neither vilifies nor supports the practice of writing as punishment. Rather, he investigates the question with humanistic inquiry and focuses on what can be learned from understanding the many strange ways that writing as punishment is used to accomplish fundamental objectives in everyday life.
Through five succinct case studies, we meet teachers, judges, parents, sex traffickers, and drunken partiers who have turned to writing because of its presumed power over writers and readers. Schaffner provides careful analysis of familiar punishments, such as schoolchildren copying lines, and more bizarre public rituals that result in ink-covered bodies and individuals forced to hold signs in public.
Schaffner argues that writing-based punishment should not be dismissed as benign or condemned as a misguided perversion of writing, but instead should be understood as an instrument capable of furthering both the aims of justice and degradation.