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Books

Compelling Belief: The Culture of American Schooling, by Stephen Arons (McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1221 Avenue of the Americas, New York, N.Y. 10020; 240 pages, $19.95).

The American educational system stifles intellectual freedom and acts primarily as a tool for the uniform socialization of children, according to Mr. Arons. Rejecting the concept of "majority-approved socialization" as it is expressed in compulsory education, he examines what he views as the conflict between private dissent and public orthodoxy. In his discussion of censorship, home schooling, government control of private schools, and the role of the law in public education, the author stresses the need for a major restructuring of the education system to ensure freedom of belief and expression. Mr. Arons is director of the legal studies department at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. (An excerpt of Mr. Arons' book appeared in Education Week, Nov. 17, 1982.)


He Who Cannot: A Teacher's Lament, by F.C. Miller (Exposition Press Inc., Smithtown, N.Y. 11787-0817; 206 pages, $9.50).

Public education is decaying, suggests the author, who was a high-school French teacher for 28 years before he chose to retire early. Accusing school boards, unfit teachers, parents who fail to discipline their children, an insensitive public, and others, of not supporting teachers, he recalls in what he calls "a bitter book" the experiences that he says degraded him and the teaching profession as a whole. Among the possible repairs he recommends for the ailing educational system are a national competency test for high-school graduation, alternative schools for disruptive students, and federal legislation enabling teachers to carry their pensions from state to state.


Guides and Directories

Children's Literature Review: Excerpts from Review, Criticism, and Commentary on Books for Children, Volume 4, edited by Gerard J. Senick (Gale Research Company, Book Tower, Detroit, Mich. 48226; 310 pages, $54.).

For teachers and librarians who select children's literature for elementary-school students, this guide provides information on 25 authors who have written children's books in the last 50 years. Divided into 25 chapters, with several pages on each author, the book features the following: biographical information about the author, a commentary by the author on writing children's books, a general commentary with two to six critical reviews, title entries for each of the author's works, a bibliographical citation, and illustrations from some of the books. Also includes cumulative indexes to authors, titles, and critics.


Other Resources

Artsploration (The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the College of Fine Arts, The University of Texas at Austin, FAB 2.4, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Tex. 78712; 16 pages, paper, $4 each for less than 20 issues, $3 each for 20 issues or more).

A monthly arts newspaper for children in grades 4 to 6, this publication is designed to encourage creativity and student involvement. Each issue focuses on a different culture and contains such sections as: Kids Publish, for writing-skills development; Arts Connect, which relates art to other school subjects; and Arts 'n Eats, which gives simple recipe instructions for a dish from the appropriate culture. Published eight times a year.


School Public Relations: Communicating to the Community, by J.A. Kinder (Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation, Eight St. and Union Ave., Box 789, Bloomington, Ind. 47402; 42 pages, paper, 75 cents).

The benefits and methods of an organized public-relations program are addressed in this booklet for educators and administrators. Information on improving communication between school personnel and the public, guidelines on working with the media, examples of successful public-relations programs, and a bibliography of resources are included.


Anne Bridgman

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