Published Online: June 2, 1999

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Reform Perspectives

The Beat of a Different Drummer: Essays on Educational Renewal in Honor of John I. Goodlad, edited by Kenneth A. Sirotnik & Roger Soder (Peter Lang Publishing, 275 7th Ave., 28th Floor, New York, NY 10001; 336pp., $35.95 hardcover). A collection of essays by friends, colleagues, and scholars who have been influenced by John I. Goodlad's half-century of scholarship on educational change and school improvement. Contributors include Seymour B. Sarason, a Yale University professor emeritus, and Theodore R. Sizer, the founder of the Coalition of Essential Schools.

The Collected Horace: Theory and Practice in Essential Schools, by Kathleen Cushman (The Coalition of Essential Schools, Publications Office, 564 Eddy St., Suite 248, Providence, RI 02903; 758pp. [Vols. 1-5], $310 spiral-bound). A compendium bringing together 10 years of the Coalition of Essential Schools' journal, Horace. Since 1988, the journal has recorded the experiences of the coalition's 1,000 schools around the country. The Collected Horace is organized into five volumes by theme: "Teaching, Relationships, and Critical Friendships" (Vol. 1); "Curriculum, Assessment, and Whole-School Accountability" (Vol. 2); "School Structure and Design" (Vol. 3); "Leadership in Essential Schools" (Vol. 4); and "Policy and Essential Schools" (Vol. 5). Includes discussion prompts for professional development and teacher training.

The Disciplined Mind: What All Students Should Understand, by Howard Gardner (Simon & Schuster, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020; 288 pp., $25 hardcover). Proposes the creation of six different educational pathways which, the author suggests, could at once satisfy Americans' concern for high educational standards and their widely divergent views of what education should be. The book demonstrates its theories by focusing on three topics the author would like individuals to understand fully: the theory of evolution, the music of Mozart, and the Holocaust.

Making Our High Schools Better: How Parents and Teachers Can Work Together, by Anne Wescott Dodd & Jean L. Konzal (St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010; 276pp., $26.95 hardcover). Examines how the often divergent perspectives of parents and teachers can be understood and negotiated to improve high schools. The book uses in-depth interviews with teachers and parents to give faces and voices to all areas of conflict.

Teaching in America: The Slow Revolution, by Gerald Grant & Christine E. Murray (Harvard University Press, 79 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138; 280 pp., $26 hardcover). Describes the evolution of the teaching profession over the past hundred years and analyzes three possible scenarios depicting the role of teachers in 2020. The authors also present portraits of teachers struggling to take greater control of their practice and examine recent experiments that give teachers the power to shape their schools and mentor young educators.

Social Currents

The Ambitious Generation: America's Teenagers, Motivated but Directionless, by Barbara Schneider & David Stevenson (Yale University Press, PO Box 209040, New Haven, CT 06520-9040; 360 pp., $26 hardcover). Based on a longitudinal study of 7,000 teenagers, the book reveals that, contrary to popular opinion, today's teens are the most ambitious, most upwardly mobile generation yet--but also the most isolated generation.

History and Educational Policymaking, by Maris A. Vinovskis (Yale University Press, PO Box 209040, New Haven, CT 06520-9040; 336 pp., $40 hardcover). Traces the evolving role of the federal government in educational research. Focusing on early-childhood education, the author also examines the histories of the Follow Through and Even Start programs and assesses the validity of systemic, or standards-based, reform.

--Ihsan K. Taylor

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