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Books

Teachers, Unions, and Change: A Comparative Study, by Dorothy Kerr Jessup (Praeger Publishers, 521 Fifth Ave., New York, N.Y. 10175; $33.95).

In this comparative study of three teachers' unions, the author looks in detail at the factors that have given rise to teacher unionization over the last 25 years. The study examines the unions' goals and leadership as well as the role they played in three small suburban and rural school districts in New York State from the early 1960's to the late 1970's. Ms. Jessup also looks at the struggle between the traditional "service ethic" of the profession and a new ethic that she says stresses self-interest. Ms. Jessup's research was supported by grants from the National Institute of Education and the State University of New York Research Foundation. She is assistant professor of sociology at the State University of New York at New Paltz.

The Devil in the Classroom, by James Marshall (Schocken Books, 62 Cooper Sq., New York, N.Y. 10003; 170 pages, $15.95).

Hostility undermines both students and teachers and is a major block to effective learning and education reform, contends the author, who is former president of the New York City Board of Education. The root of much of that hostility, he concludes, is the autocratic structure of public schools, which makes students and teachers frustrated and angry by reducing their sense of social power. Mr. Marshall examines how the problems that students bring to schools contribute to their hostility toward teachers and administrators, and argues that teachers in turn are angered by the education enterprise's unimaginativeness. He offers recommendations to counter the prevailing trends and models of alternative styles of school management, concluding that a democratic model is, in the long run, the most effective. The book also includes a bibliography.

Guides and Directories

Achieving the Complete School: Strategies for Effective Mainstreaming, by Douglas Biklen with Robert Bogdan, Dianne L. Ferguson, Stanford J. Searl Jr., and Steven J. Taylor (Teachers College Press, 1234 Amsterdam Ave., New York, N.Y. 10027; 206 pages, paper $15.95).

Arguing in favor of incorporating students with disabilities into regular public-school programs, the authors offer recommendations for how to do so successfully. They base their work on two three-year studies funded by the U.S. Education Department that examined successful mainstreaming programs. Among the topics covered in this book are the history of mainstreaming and its advantages and disadvantages, and the roles of the principal, the teacher, the district administrator, and the students' parents in making mainstreaming more effective. Mr. Biklen is professor of special education at Syracuse University.

A Teachers' Guide to the Psychology of Learning, by Michael J.A. Howe (Basil Blackwell Inc., 432 Park Ave., South, Suite 1505, New York, N.Y. 10016; 162 pages, $24.95).

The author analyzes learning processes and offers teachers methods by which they can help their students learn independently. Mr. Howe focuses on how students use their existing knowledge and newly acquired learning skills to tackle unfamiliar topics and information. He also discusses the child's transition from home to school, individual students' abilities, reading comprehension, writing skills, and the relationship between student motivation and learning. Mr. Howe is editor of the British journal Human Learning and senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Exeter in England.

Directory of Residential Treatment Facilities for Emotionally Disturbed Children, by Barbara Smiley Sherman (Oryx Press, 2214 North Central at Encanto, Suite 103, Phoenix, Ariz. 85004-1483; 231 pages, $45).

A state-by-state alphabetical list of residential facilities for emotionally disturbed children, with a description of the facility, its address, phone number, and the person to contact for more information. The directory also provides information on the type of students the school is equipped to serve; the school's geographic setting and historical background; the social, rehabilitative, educational, and vocational services offered by the facility; and tuition, fees, and referrals. Ms. Sherman has been a special-education classroom teacher and an educator in hospital-based programs. She is currently a consultant in special education.

Other Resources

Improving Math and Science Education: Problems and Solutions, by Ben Brodinsky, aasa Critical Issues Report (American Association of School Administrators, 1801 North Moore St., Arlington, Va. 22209; 92 pages, paper $13.95).


In this booklet, school administrators and other educators discuss the causes of the current "crisis" in mathematics and science education and offer suggestions for solving problems such as the shortage of teachers and the introduction of mathematics and science into the elementary-school curriculum. The contributors also recommend ways administrators can work more effectively with institutions of higher education, involve parents more closely in their children's education, re-evaluate and restructure mathematics and science curricula, and adapt successful programs and techniques to their districts. The booklet is based, in part, on the results of a 1983 survey by the American Association of School Administrators, a 19,000-member national association. Mr. Brodinsky is an education writer based in Connecticut.

The Kids' Book About Death and Dying, By and For Kids, by the Unit at the Fayerweather Street School, edited by Eric Rofes (Little, Brown, and Company, 34 Beacon St., Boston, Mass. 02106; 119 pages, $14.95).

Working from the premise that the issue of death and dying should be discussed in school, at home, and in the community, 14 students and their teacher, Mr. Rofes, produced a book that addresses issues related to the death of a friend or relative. Written for students, parents, and teachers, the book covers such topics as the medical aspects of death, funeral customs, the death of parents or older relatives, the death of other children, violent death, and the concept of afterlife. It contains a reference list of fictional and nonfictional books about death and dying.

--Pamela Winston

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