In this book, Tony Wagner analyzes the complex and often-painful process of undertaking meaningful school reform by examining the experiences of three representative but very different schools in Massachusetts as they attempted to implement significant program changes during the early 1990's. All were chosen for his study because they were ...
In this book, Tony Wagner analyzes the complex and often-painful process of undertaking meaningful school reform by examining the experiences of three representative but very different schools in Massachusetts as they attempted to implement significant program changes during the early 1990's. All were chosen for his study because they were undertaking systemic change, a process by which a school attempts sweeping changes in teaching methods, curriculum, and decision-making processes all at once. Rejecting as inadequate such traditional objective quantitative methods as looking at average test scores and dropout rates, Wagner chose instead to use a mix of qualitative research techniques - extensive observation of classes and of large and small group meetings, analysis of documents ranging from official publications to memoranda, and one-on-one interviews. He combines all of this into in-depth portraits of three schools in the process of change.
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Publishers Weekly, 1994-06-27 This study of the ninth grade in three Boston-area high schools--two public, one private--presents an objective, behind-the-scenes view of the process of educational change. Much has been written about the need for reform of American pedogogy and one of the more creative, and apparently successful, programs is the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES), a construct of Brown University educational specialist Theodore Sizer. To the extent that each school integrated CES philosophy--clear academic goals, core values shared by an involved community and collaboration among teachers, students, parents and others--the systemic change is achieving noticeable results in varying degrees. The most promising seems to be the private school for a host of reasons, especially because it is small and autonomous. Wagner's compelling appraisal of dedicated educators at work delivers a strong message. The author is an assistant professor of education at the University of New Hampshire. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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