Of General Interest
All Our Children Learning: A Primer for Parents, Teachers and Other Educators, by Benjamin S. Bloom (McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1221 Avenue of the Americas, New York, N.Y. 10020; 288 pages, paper $6.95).
All students can now achieve high standards of learning without failure, according to educator and author Benjamin S. Bloom. In his book, a compilation of 13 papers gathered for the first time in one volume, he examines the progress made in education over the last 20 years and sets out to prove that "as a result of the new ideas gained from this research, student learning can be improved greatly, and it is possible to describe the favorable learning conditions which can enable virtually all students to learn to a high standard." The four-part book deals with the issues of educational research, the relationship between home and school, instruction and curriculum development, and evaluation of education. Intended for educators and parents.
Fifteen Thousand Hours: Secondary Schools and Their Effects on Children, by Michael Rutter, Barbara Maughan, Peter Mortimore, and Janet Ouston (Harvard University Press, 79 Garden St., Cambridge, Mass. 02138; 295 pages, cloth $12.50, paper 5.95).
The fifteen thousand hours a child spends in school have a profound effect on his or her development, according to this well-publicized book, first published in 1979. Now available in paperback, the book describes two studies--one in 1970, the other in 1974--of 12 secondary schools in London that examined the importance of such characteristics of schools as amount of teaching, class size, and overall attitude, and the role these factors play in a child's development. The authors reach a number of conclusions, including the discovery that the physical structure of a school matters little compared to its function as a social organization. "The differences between schools in outcome were systematically related to their characteristics as social institutions," the authors write.
The Public School Monopoly: A Critical Analysis of Education and the State in American Society, edited by Robert B. Everhart (Ballinger Publishing Company, 54 Church St., Cambridge, Mass. 02138 and Pacific Institute for Public Policy Research, 635 Mason St., San Francisco, Calif. 94108; 600 pages, cloth $30.00, paper $13.95).
To what extent do the public schools monopolize the educational process within American society? This question and others are discussed in a compilation of policy papers by 14 scholars holding diverse viewpoints in the fields of education, economics, science, history, and other fields. Addressing the current "erosion of confidence" in our education system, the contributors explore the relationship between education and the state and suggest alternatives to our present system, including the feasibility of a private market in educational services through tax credits and education vouchers. Part One describes the beginnings of "state-controlled education" in America. Parts Two and Three discuss the elements of state involvement and its varied consequences. Part Four explores alternatives and suggests new directions for constructive policy reform. Published with Pacific Institute for Public Policy Research, an independent research and educational organization.
For Special Interests
Coming of Age: Volume 3, The Best of A.C.L.D., edited by William M. Cruickshank and Janet W. Lerner (Syracuse University Press, 1101 East Water St., Syracuse, N.Y. 13210; 250 pages, paper $12.95).
A collection of 16 articles from the 1981 conference of the Association for Children and Adults with Learning Disabilities that covers issues such as family and social systems, development of mental processing abilities, and strategies for teaching reading.
Mainstreaming the Exceptional Child, compiled by Mary Cervantes Clarkson (Trinity University Press, 715 Stadium Dr., San Antonio, Tex. 78284; 250 pages; $25.00).
A bibliography of books, articles, eric documents, theses, dissertations, government documents, and pamphlets published from 1964 to the present that deal with exceptional children who are gifted; hearing impaired; learning disabled and emotionally disturbed; and mentally, physically, speech, and visually handicapped. The sixth of "Checklists in the Humanities and Education" series.