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Listening to Urban Kids
School Reform and the Teachers They Want
Listening to Urban Kids
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Bruce L. Wilson - Author
Dick Corbett - Author
SUNY series, Restructuring and School Change
N/A
Hardcover - 152 pages
Release Date: January 2001
ISBN10: 0-7914-4839-8
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-4839-7

Out of Print
Price: $26.95 
Paperback - 152 pages
Release Date: January 2001
ISBN10: 0-7914-4840-1
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-4840-3

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

Independent researchers interview urban middle school students to get their impressions of the teachers that help them to succeed in schools.

According to the many student voices in this book, urban middle school students want teachers who "stay on them" to complete their work, maintain orderly classrooms, give them the extra help they need to succeed, explain their work clearly, draw on a variety of teaching strategies, and make their work relevant and meaningful. This book, rich in detail, brings these inner-city students' perspectives to life and issues a compelling call for urban school reform that actually touches students' daily lives.


"This book provides a cogent argument for including urban students in the dialogue on urban school reform. The students, because of their insider status, offer clear, specific views concerning those conditions that foster and hinder their learning. The students' suggestions warrant serious attention by those who are genuinely concerned about improving the quality of education in urban schools." — Grace Cureton Stanford, The Pennsylvania State University

"This book persuasively makes the case for--and uses effectively--student perspective as a key component of school reform. The implications for change of teachers' practice and for school reform in general are unmistakable and compelling." — Gil Schmerler, Bank Street College of Education

Bruce L. Wilson and H. Dickson Corbett are both independent educational researchers and coauthors of Testing, Reform, and Rebellion. Wilson is coauthor of Mandating Academic Excellence: High School Responses to State Curriculum Reform, with Gretchen B. Rossman and Successful Secondary Schools: Visions of Excellence in American Public Education, with Thomas B. Corcoran; and Corbett is coauthor of School Context and School Change: Implications for Effective Planning, with Judith A. Dawson and William A Firestone and Change and Effectiveness in Schools: A Cultural Perspective, with Gretchen B. Rossman and William A. Firestone, also published by SUNY Press.


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Table of Contents

One

INTRODUCTION

The Reform Context
Students as Useful Windows through Which to View Reform
Overview of the Study and Its Participants
The Student Sample and Interview Strategy
The School Sites
Other Considerations in Reading This Book

Two

CHANGES IN STUDENTS’ SCHOOL LIVES OVER THREE YEARS

Changes in Plans for the Future
Changes in the Schools
More and/or Harder Work
Different Student Behavior
Small Learning Communities
Changes in Classroom Experiences
Multiple or Long-term Replacement Teachers
Disruptive Classrooms
“Support Scarce” Classrooms
A Need to Scale Up within Schools

Three

PEDAGOGICAL, CONTENT, AND CLASSROOM ENVIRONMENT DIFFERENCES WITHIN AND ACROSS FIVE SCHOOLS

Pedagogical Differences—The Case of Science
Content Differences—The Case of English
Classroom Environment Differences—Two Examples
School #1: Two Teachers on the Same Team
School #4: A Comparison between Students’ Initial Teacher and a Replacement
Students Focused on Instructional, Rather Than Personal, Style

Four

THE TEACHERS STUDENTS WANTED

Three Teachers Students Praised
Qualities Students Wanted Their Teachers to Have
Valued Teachers Pushed Students to Complete Their Assignments
Valued Teachers Maintained Order in the Classroom
Valued Teachers Were Willing to Help
Valued Teachers Went to Great Lengths to Explain a Topic Until
Everyone Understood It
Valued Teachers Varied Classroom Activities
Valued Teachers Respected Students, Related to Them, and Tried to
Understand Their Worlds
Behind the Actions: The Student–Teacher Relationship

Five

SPREADING THE POCKETS OF SUCCESS

A Brief Description of School #6
Students’ Aspirations and Teachers’Preferences
Pedagogical Differences—The Case of Science
Content Differences—The Case of Writing and English
A Note on Mathematics
Classroom Environment Differences
Evidence of School Effects
Students’ Perspectives on School #6
Student Performance Data
Student Comparisons of School #6 with the Other Study Schools
Student Talk and School Differences

Six

STUDENTS AND REFORM

Making Reform Noticeable
Focus Professional Development on Adults’ Underlying Beliefs about
a School’s Role in Supporting Student Learning Rather Than
Discrete “Best Practices”
Emphasize the Quality of the Relationships between Teachers
and Students
Changes in Student Performance Standards Must be Accompanied by the
Creation of Standards for Pedagogy, Content, and Classroom Environment—
and the Professional Development Necessary to
Implement Them
Connect Changes in Standards to Grades, Not Just to Performance on
Large-scale Assessments
Create “Extra Help” Situations That Encompass All Students Who Need It, Not
Just Those Students Who Avail Themselves of It
Extend Extra Help Beyond School Work to How to Succeed in the Future
Reforming with, Not for, Students

References

Appendix: Student Interview Protocols

Author Index

Subject Index


Related Subjects
39212/39213(PR/DF/FK)

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