For more information on these books, contact the publisher or your local library or bookstore.
An Elusive Science:The Troubling History of Education Research, by Ellen Condliffe Lagemann (The University of Chicago Press, 5801 South Ellis Ave., Chicago, IL 60637-1496; 302 pp., $25 hardcover). Portrays the major figures (including John Dewey and William James), the institutions, and the conflicts that have shaped the study of education. This history of the field also explains how and why education research has come to suffer from its “low status” reputation.
Kindergartens and Cultures:The Global Diffusion of an Idea, edited by Roberta Wollons (Yale University Press, PO Box 209040, New Haven, CT 06520-9040; 320 pp., $35 hardcover). A collection of case studies that describe the diffusion, adoption, and transformation of the kindergarten in 11 modern and developing countries. Beginning with Germany, the chapters follow the kindergarten idea as it passed in the 19th and early-20th centuries to the United States, then England, Australia, Japan, China, Poland, Russia, Vietnam, Turkey, and Israel.
Teaching Sex: The Shaping of Adolescence in the 20th Century, by Jeffrey P. Moran (Harvard University Press, 79 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138; 281 pp., $27.95 hardcover). Examines the concept of adolescent sexuality through a study of the development of sex education in the schools. The book’s central argument: Educators and other experts, at the beginning of the 20th century, created the concept of “adolescence” from their fears of youthful sexuality—and then made sex education a central component of their strategies to manage this invention.
Boys Into Men: Raising Our African-American Teenage Sons, by Nancy Boyd-Franklin & A.J. Franklin (Dutton, 375 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014; 260 pp., $23.95 hardcover). Addresses the issues involved in raising African-American teenage boys and bringing them successfully and safely to manhood. Co-written by a husband-and-wife team of psychologists, the book is described as a “survival guide that gives hope and inspiration to parents, teachers, counselors, and community members by drawing on strong African-American family values, cultural and spiritual strength.”
Ordinary Resurrections: Children in the Years of Hope, by Jonathan Kozol (Crown Publishers, 1540 Broadway, New York, NY 10036; 336 pp., $25 hardcover). As in the author’s most recent book, Amazing Grace, events in this work take place in New York City’s South Bronx, but they are rendered through a different vantage point. This time, readers see life through the eyes of children, not, as the author puts it, “from the perspective of a grown-up man encumbered with a Harvard education.” Ordinary Resurrections is described by Mr. Kozol as a work “of guarded optimism that avoids polemic and the fevered ideologies of partisan debate ... a book about the little miracles of stubbornly persistent innocence in children who are still unsoiled by the world and can still view their place within it without cynicism or despair.”
Stealing Innocence: Youth, Corporate Power, and the Politics of Culture, by Henry A. Giroux (St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010; 197 pp., $22.95 hardcover). Continues the author’s ongoing social critique, looking at the ways corporate culture is encroaching on the lives of children. Mr. Giroux, the author of Channel Surfing (1997), explores what he argues are three prevalent “myths” in our society: that the triumph of democracy is related to the triumph of the market; that children are unaffected by power and politics; and that teaching and learning are no longer linked to improving the world. Topics that fall under the author’s scrutiny include childhood beauty pageants, school shootings, and the advertising industry.
A Legacy of Learning, by David T. Kearns & James Harvey (Brookings Institution Press, 1775 Massachusetts Ave. N.W., Washington, DC 20036; 216 pp., $24.95 hardcover). Drawing on measurements of average U.S. student performance on international tests, the authors have identified what they describe as an unmistakable downward trajectory: “While elementary schools are world-class, middle schools barely hold their own, and high schools are a vast educational wasteland.” A Legacy of Learning likens today’s public schools to a dysfunctional family and describes how decent impulses toward school reform have gone astray, leading to “institutional inertia and gridlock.” The book features a foreword by former President George Bush.
It Takes a City: Getting Serious About Urban School Reform, by Paul T. Hill, Christine Campbell, & James Harvey (Brookings Institution Press, 1775 Massachusetts Ave. N.W., Washington, DC 20036; 206 pp., $12.95 paperback). Describes the politics of reform in urban school systems and clarifies options available to community leaders seeking to improve school performance. Written “as a practical guide for mayors, civic leaders, and school board members,” the book draws lessons from six American cities—Boston; Memphis, Tenn.; New York City’s Community District 2; San Antonio; San Francisco; and Seattle—and analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of the various reform strategies employed there.
Visions of Schooling: Conscience, Community, and Common Education, by Rosemary C. Salomone (Yale University Press, PO Box 209040, New Haven, CT 06520-9040; 352 pp., $30 hardcover). Sets aside the ideological and inflammatory rhetoric that often surrounds the debates over educational values and family choice. The author, a law professor at St. John’s University, offers instead an analysis of education for democratic citizenship in a society that values freedom of conscience and religious pluralism. She proposes a “balanced” course of action that redefines but does not sever the relationship between education and the state.
Digital Divide: Computers and Our Children’s Future, by David Bolt & Ray Crawford (TV Books, 1619 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10019; 207 pp., $24 hardcover). Looks at the variances that exist in computer education in schools today, considers the social impact of those inequalities, and examines what can be done to rectify this situation. The authors also suggest that even schools with the latest technology often have teachers “who do not know how to use the equipment, much less how to integrate it into their curriculum.”
The Digital Classroom: How Technology Is Changing the Way We Teach and Learn, edited by David T. Gordon (Harvard Education Letter, Gutman Library 349, 6 Appian Way, Cambridge, MA 02138; 184 pp., $21.95 paperback). A special report from the Harvard Education Letter, this book explores the social and educational implications of digitizing classrooms. Contributing writers explore the following questions: How can educators tap an array of new technologies to improve instruction in math, science, literacy, and the humanities? What can be done to close the “digital divide”? Why do boys seem to respond more readily than girls to problem-solving with computers? And how can technology enhance teacher professional development?
A version of this article appeared in the June 21, 2000 edition of Education Week