Education Opinion

Summer Reading & Summer Break

By Deborah Meier — July 31, 2008 2 min read
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Editor’s note: With this entry, Bridging Differences begins its annual summer hiatus. Deborah Meier and Diane Ravitch will return in late August.

Dear readers,

We’ll be back in late August; I’m not sure exactly what date. We may be playing around with other ways to have our discussion—more and shorter back and forths? We may or may not be able to do it, since we’re both at heart essayists! But maybe short snippets from “the media” which we both take a whack at?

Meanwhile, everyone has made some good suggestions for what to read. It ought to include everything Diane and I have written. Of course. On my Web site—deborahmeier.com—I have a link to almost everything I’ve written about education (compiled by my son, Nicholas Meier). One of our readers suggested Larry Cuban’s latest book on schooling and business. Top notch, as is all his work.

I’m lately intrigued by two “old” books that tackle the issue of “academics” in similar ways. One is by Mike Rose—"Lives on the Boundary”—and one by Gerald Graff—"Clueless in Academe.” (In the latter, there’s even a chapter on the old CPESS.) Rose teaches at UCLA, and Graff is currently president of the Modern Language Association. Mike’s book is an especially helpful response to Tony Waters’ comments about German tracking.

There’s a new edition out of Pedro Noguera’s “City Schools and the American Dream"; and I already mentioned that Garret Keizer’s “No Place But Here” is a great summer read about rural education that rings as true for urban schooling. Mike and Susan Klonsky‘s “Small Schools” book—on the topic Diane and I’ve been blogging on of late is a lively read. Finally, since I want to spend more time in the future on the issue of childhood play, I urge you to read Valerie Polakow. “The Erosion of Childhood” is a good place to start. (Her latest, “Who Cares for Our Children,” is also important to read.) And thanks, Diane, for suggesting Daniel Koretz; I shall take your advice and read him this summer, too.

What I discovered 45 years ago was that every article and book I read actually provoked my thoughts about education and schooling. Keeping that in mind, share with us the stuff you read from other fields (fiction and non-fiction) that might feed our discussion, help us go deeper and wider.

Finally, there are many good ed blogs, including one just about NYC—eduwonkette—which we both have exploited for interesting stories and data.

My best,

The opinions expressed in Bridging Differences are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.