Books: New in Print
History of Education
A School teacher in Old Alaska: The Story of Hannah Breece, ed. by Jane Jacobs (Random House, New York, N.Y. 10022; 302 pp., $24 cloth). Taken from journal entries, letters, and other writings, the first-person narrative in this engrossing history paints a vivid picture of life in Alaska during the early 20th century. Historically important as well as entertaining, the book offers a glimpse of a woman who challenged frontiers both cultural and geographic.
Schools in the Great Depression, by Dominic W. Moreo (Garland Publishing Inc., 717 Fifth Ave., Suite 2500, New York, N.Y. 10022-8101; 232 pp., $37 cloth). This book examines the state of American schools during the years between the world wars, focusing on the changes in educational institutions necessitated by far-reaching social hardships. It argues that the great currents of social and economic thought stirring other parts of society during this period had little influence on education, leaving schools for the most part victims of stale policy and uncertain direction.
Beyond Desegregation: The Politics of Quality in African-American Schooling, ed. by Mwalimu J. Shujaa (Corwin Press Inc., 2455 Teller Rd., Thousand Oaks, Calif. 91320-2218; 283 pp., $27.95 paper). The 24 authors in this compilation consider the role of desegregation in the education of African-Americans, questioning its usefulness and hypothesizing about the ramifications of its absence. They also examine the increasingly popular trend among black parents to educate their children in safe, anti-racist, but racially segregated schools.
Five Technologies for Educational Change, by David F. Salisbury (Educational Technology Publications, Englewood Cliffs, N.J. 07632; 247 pp., $37.95 cloth). In a novel look at the process of school reform, the author presents five "technologies" he says will lead, when properly implemented, to positive educational change. These are not technologies in the common sense of that word, but rather are distinct ways of thinking that offer new approaches to problem-solving in the educational arena.
Pluralism and Education: Current World Trends in Policy, Law, and Administration, ed. by Peter M. Roeder et al. (Institute of Governmental Studies Press, 109 Moses Hall, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, Calif. 94720-2370; 345 pp., $21.95 paper). Behind the less-than-concise writing in this book lie some astute observations on the state of educational policy throughout the world.
Private Vouchers, ed. by Terry M. Moe (Hoover Institution Press, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.; 135 pp., $15.95 paper). This collection of essays examines the motivations and forces behind one of the most controversial issues facing American education. By focusing on four established school-voucher programs in Milwaukee, Indianapolis, San Antonio, and New York, the authors have a reference point for offering their own opinions on the viability of vouchers on a national scale.
Who Chooses? Who Loses? Culture, Institutions, and the Unequal Effects of School Choice, by Bruce Fuller & Richard F. Elmore et al. (Teachers College Press, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1234 Amsterdam Ave., New York, N.Y. 10027; 224 pp., $19.95 paper). The essays in this book evaluate the results of school-choice programs nationwide, questioning their success, equality, and effectiveness. The authors focus especially on the social and political implications of the debate over parental choice in schooling.
Year-Round Education: A Collection of Articles, ed. by Robin Fogarty (iri/Skylight Training and Publishing, 2626 S. Clearbrook Dr., Arlington Heights, Ill. 60005; 216 pp., $21.95 paper). This book covers the issues in year-round schooling in three sections, discussing the historical context of the movement, presenting case studies of year-round programs, and offering "how to" suggestions for implementing such an operational change. The articles suggest that a continuously running school year can be beneficial to the well-being of society as a whole.
Reading and Literacy
Literacy at the Crossroads: Crucial Talk About Reading, Writing, and Other Teaching Dilemmas, by Regie Routman (Heinemann, 361 Hanover St., Portsmouth, N.H. 03801-3912; 222 pp., $19.50 paper). With a tone of urgency, the author of this pro-whole-language tract attempts to lead a charge against the "back to basics" approach to reading and writing instruction. It is a self-proclaimed "911 call to teachers and the literacy movement" that may, for some critical of progressive teaching methods, backfire.
Teaching Our Children To Read: The Role of Skills in a Comprehensive Reading Program, by Bill Honig (Corwin Press Inc., 2455 Teller Rd., Thousand Oaks, Calif. 91320-2218; 151 pp., $18.95 paper). Forward- rather than backward-looking, this book by the former superintendent of public instruction in California summarizes recent research on reading instruction and advocates the teaching of specific reading skills as an essential component of literacy. Supporting neither whole language nor phonics alone, the author argues that a balanced approach is needed for children to become successful, enthusiastic readers.
The Rhetoric of Reason: Writing and the Attractions of Argument, by James Crosswhite (The University of Wisconsin Press, 114 North Murray St., Madison, Wis. 53715; 329 pp., $24.95 paper). While arguing that a liberal arts education should be centered around learning to craft a well-reasoned argument, this book reshapes the purpose of upper-level writing instruction, recentering it in what the author calls the "deep ethical interests of the rhetorical tradition."
Exploring Work: Fun Activities for Girls, ed. by the WEAA Equity Resource Center (Education Development Center Inc., 55 Chapel St., Newton, Mass. 02158-1060; 158 pp., $15 paper). Aimed at girls in grades 6-8, this book is designed to help the early adolescent identify her interests and talents. The activities included are designed to encourage thought and discussion on issues such as gender-stereotyping.
Voices of Women Aspiring to the Superintendency, by Margaret Grogan (State University of New York Press, State University Plaza, Albany, N.Y. 12246; 222 pp., $14.95 paper). The 27 top-level women administrators interviewed for this study provide a substantial background for the issues discussed. The book questions why there are so few women superintendents and seeks to determine what those who have made it to that post have in common. It also identifies the best routes to the superintendency.
Media and Technology
Educating Students in a Media-Saturated Culture, by John Davies (Technomic Publishing Co. Inc., 851 New Holland Ave., Lancaster, Pa. 17604; 309 pp., $35 paper). This book examines the extensive influence the mass media have on today's students. Without including computers, the author discusses the impact of a wide range of media phenomena, from advertising to TV violence, and considers the effect of television on physical development.
Schools for an Information Age: Reconstructing Foundations for Learning and Teaching, by Byrd L. Jones & Robert W. Maloy (Greenwood Publishing Group Inc., 88 Post Rd. West, Westport, Conn. 06881-5007; 416 pp., $59.95 paper). The rapid rise of technology is placing great stresses on the country's schools, argue the authors of this book, so much so that schools will have to be totally reformed if the students of tomorrow are to succeed in a demanding world. They suggest broad-based changes that would make schools exemplars of equality and opportunity in the computer age.