Common Causes

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Neither conservatives nor liberals have focused enough energy on finding ways to encourage fathers to play more positive and supportive roles in their families, a new book maintains.

Published this month by the Families and Work Institute, New Expectations: Community Strategies for Responsible Fatherhood says that the current political debate "absolves most people of any responsibility for fostering responsible fatherhood" by blaming society's ills on either the breakdown of the family or the lack of economic opportunity.

James A. Levine and Edward W. Pitt, the director and associate director of the New York-based research group, set out to show how higher expectations for fathers can benefit children. They cite examples of efforts by schools, social-services agencies, religious groups, and other institutions to prepare men for fatherhood, nurture fathers' interest in their children, and treat them as more than "walking wallets." The book also reviews research on fatherhood and includes a directory of programs and a guide to literature on the topic.

Copies of the book are available for $25.50 each (prepaid, includes shipping) from the Families and Work Institute, 330 Seventh Ave., 14th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10001; (212) 465-2044, ext. 237.

A recent report from the National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools, and Teaching offers a teacher's perspective on collaboration.

The report profiles the experiences of four teachers, three from New York City and one from Colorado Springs, Colo., as they work with colleagues, students, and community members. It examines the conflicts and disagreements that arose, the obstacles and requirements that worked against their collaborative efforts, the skills the teachers learned, and the positive changes that took place in their attitudes.

Copies of the report, "Collaboration: Looking Beneath the Surface," are available for $8 each from NCREST, Box 110, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, N.Y. 10027.

People who want to know more about what school psychologists do--and how they do it--can find out in a resource guide from the National Association of School Psychologists. The publication catalogs how various states use psychologists to help students learn, teachers teach, schools become more responsive to families, and districts discipline students. Many of the examples involve teamwork with other school support staff and community groups.

Copies of "School Psychologists: Helping Educate All Children" are available for $5 each from Victoria Stanhope, NASP, 4340 East West Highway, Suite 402, Bethesda, Md. 20814.

--Deborah L. Cohen <

Vol. 15, Issue 19

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