Books: Of General Interest

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Broken Bottles, Broken Dreams: Understanding and Helping the Children of Alcoholics, by Charles Deutsch (Teachers College, Columbia University, 1234 Amsterdam Ave., New York, N.Y. 10027; 227 pages; cloth $17.95, paper $13.95).

Mr. Deutsch advises teachers, counselors, and others who work with the approximately 15 million school-aged children of alcoholic parents how to help them handle the problems associated with living with an alcoholic. Writing that "[c]hildren who understand alcoholism can be potent catalysts of family recovery," Mr. Deutsch contends that educating a child about alcoholism is the best way to prevent the occurrence of later problems, such as alcoholism, suicide, and aggression. The author, a former education specialist with an alcoholism rehabilitation program, devotes the first section of the book to the disease and its impact on families. The second section explores coping strategies, including discussions of available support agencies, various methods for handling crises, and individual cases. Mr. Deutsch is a doctoral candidate in the department of behavioral sciences, Harvard School of Public Health.

Is Public Education Necessary?, by Samuel L. Blumenfeld (The Devin-Adair Company, 143 Sound Beach Ave., Old Greenwich, Conn. 06870; 272 pages; $12.95; forthcoming in June).

Beginning with America's European roots, the author explores the question of why Americans gave up their "educational freedom" for "state-controlled" education. Drawing on quotations from Horace Mann, Thomas Jefferson, William E. Channing, Jared Sparks, and other leaders in the field of education, he describes the development of public education in America from 19th-century Harvard University to the emergence of a "liberal elite" and the "secular humanist" movement to the present.

No Particular Place to Go: The Making of a Free High School, by Steve Bhaerman and Joel Denker (Southern Illinois University Press, P.O. Box 3697, Carbondale, Ill. 62901; 264 pages; paper $8.95).

First published in 1972, this revised edition chronicles the authors' efforts in 1968-70 to develop the New Educational Project, a free high school in Washington, D.C. Through the project, the authors--who were public-school teachers in the 1960's--tried to address the problems they saw in public schooling: "the lack of responsibility on the part of staff and students; the lack of honest communication; the lack of connectedness to the outside world and to each other; [and] the taboo against failing." In trying to remedy these shortcomings, the authors examine the role of the teacher, the issue of responsibility in the classroom, the question of good teaching, and to what extent schools should reflect or change society. In a new afterword intended to provide assistance to future alternative-school builders, the authors discuss the mistakes made by the proponents of the free-school movement and illustrate "the constant conflict between our rhetoric, our expectations, and the tangled reality we discovered as we built the school."

For Special Interests

A Traditional Model of Educational Excellence: Dunbar High School of Little Rock, Arkansas, by Faustine Childress Jones (Institute for the Study of Educational Policy, Howard University, 2900 Van Ness St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008; 238 pages; paper $6.95).

An "attitude survey" of 402 randomly selected members of Dunbar High School's 1930-1955 graduating classes that attempts to discover how well the Little Rock, Ark., school prepared its black students for their futures.

Dilemmas of Schooling: Teaching and Social Change, by Ann and Harold Berlak (Methuen, 733 Third Ave., New York, N.Y. 10017; 299 pages; cloth $19.95, paper $8.25).

A theoretical examination, based on research in British primary schools, of 16 issues of schooling for prospective and practicing teachers interested in understanding the issues that face them in the classroom. Among the topics discussed are: "control dilemmas," "curriculum dilemmas," and "societal dilemmas"; the assumptions on which the dilemmas are based; and their usefulness in the classroom.

Teacher Unions and the Schools, by Susan Moore Johnson (The Institute for Educational Policy Studies, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Gutman Library, 6 Appian Way, Cambridge, Mass. 02138; 314 pages; paper $15.00).

A study of the effects of collective-bargaining agreements on the way school districts are run. The author emphasizes her conclusion that the agreements have not diminished administrators' authority, nor have they reduced the role of the teacher to a contract-only follower. Based on data compiled from interviews with 294 teachers, administrators, and union officials in six diverse school districts. (See story on page 1.)

Teaching Mathematics to the Learning Disabled, by Nancy S. Bley and Carol A. Thornton (Aspen Systems Corporation, 1600 Research Blvd., Rockville, Md. 20850; 432 pages; $26.75).

For special-education teachers. Offers guidelines for helping disabled students understand mathematics and become independent problem-solvers. Includes specific exercises and problems.

Youth Without Work: Three Countries Approach the Problem, by Shirley Williams with others (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Publications and Information Center, 1750 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006; 255 pages; paper $15.00).

The text of a report presented to the 1981 O.E.C.D. Meeting on Youth Employment Policies, the book examines the policies of Denmark, Germany, and the U.S., including a summary of recommendations for each country.

Anne Bridgman

Vol. 01, Issue 33

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