Professional Communities and the Work of High School Teaching
American high schools have never been under more pressure to reform: student populations are more diverse than ever, resources are limited, and ... Show synopsis American high schools have never been under more pressure to reform: student populations are more diverse than ever, resources are limited, and teachers are expected to teach to high standards for all students. While many reformers look for change at the state or district level, the authors here argue that the most local contexts--schools, departments, and communities--matter the most to how well teachers perform in the classroom and how satisfied they are professionally. Their findings--based on one of the most extensive research projects ever done on secondary teaching--show that departmental cultures play a crucial role in classroom settings and expectations. In the same school, for example, social studies teachers described their students as "apathetic and unwilling to work," while English teachers described the same students as "bright, interesting, and energetic." With wide-ranging implications for educational practice and policy, this unprecedented look into teacher communities is essential reading for educators, administrators, and all those concerned with U. S. High Schools.