Curriculum

Books: New in Print

February 21, 2001 4 min read

EARLY CHILDHOOD AND DEVELOPMENT

Ensuring Student Success: A Handbook of Evidence-Based Strategies, by Myles Friedman (The Institute for Evidence-Based Decision-Making in Education, PO Box 122, Columbia, SC 29202; 260 pp., $77.95 hardcover). Written by a nonprofit research institute on evidence-based decisionmaking in education, EDIE, this volume is dedicated to the memory of Benjamin S. Bloom and argues that, to prevent student-learning failures, schools need to provide individualized “corrective instruction” as soon as a teacher realizes a problem exists. The author provides examples of how he believes children of any age can learn to gain a head start in school and stop the cycle of failure breeding failure before it begins.

From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development, From the Board on Children, Youth, and Families, edited by Jack P. Shonkoff and Deborah A. Phillips (National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Ave. N.W., Washington, DC 20055; 612 pp., $39.95 paperback). This compendium of information from a distinguished group of scholars underscores the propositions that all children are born ready to learn and that early environments and nurturing relationships are essential to healthy child development. Its findings confirm that what happens in the first months and years of life sets a sturdy or fragile base for what follows.

Resistance and Representation: Rethinking Childhood Education, edited by Janice A. Jipson and Richard T. Johnson (Peter Lang, 275 Seventh Ave., New York, NY 10001; 368 pp., $32.95 paperback). Examines the state of early-childhood education at the end of the 20th century. The contributors discuss their understandings of how theoretical shifts have influenced their thinking about early-childhood research and practice. The anthology reflects many perspectives on curricular, social, and pedogical issues within the field.

Under Deadman’s Skin: Discovering the Meaning of Children’s Violent Play, by Jane Katch (Beacon Press, 25 Beacon St., Boston, MA 02108; 130 pp., $22 hardcover). The author, a teacher who trained under Bruno Bettelheim at the Orthogenic School and with Vivian Paley at the University of Chicago Lab School, uses her 5- and 6-year-olds’ fantasies of violence as a subject for ongoing discourse in her classroom. She argues that children are bombarded with violent images that they then bring to their play. Children, she says, “need to learn to articulate their feelings about their [violent] play, to listen to each other, and to make rules that will help them treat others with empathy and respect.”

The Transition to Kindergarten, edited by Robert C. Pianta and Martha J. Cox (Paul H. Brookes, PO Box 10624, Baltimore, MD 21285; 395 pp., $36 paperback) . Explores the research on early schooling, re-examines educational beliefs and practices, and argues that early school transitions need to be improved. Some of the issues discussed include readiness assessment, grade retention, classroom structure, and cultural diversity.


REFORMING SCHOOLS

All Children Can Learn: Lessons From the Kentucky Reform Experience, edited by Roger S. Pankratz and Joseph M. Petrosko (Jossey-Bass, a Wiley Company, 350 Sansom St., Fifth Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104; 294 pp., $25 paperback). Focuses on the statewide school improvement program in Kentucky and analyzes what has worked and why. The book examines many of the program’s various elements, including content and teacher standards, curricula, performance assessment, and accountability measures.

Chomsky on MisEducation, by Noam Chomsky (Rowman & Littlefield, 4720 Boston Way, Lanham, MD 20706; 208 pp., $19.95 hardcover). The first book to systematically offer all of this prolific writer and public intellectual’s influential writings on education. In his critique, Mr. Chomsky argues that the U.S. educational system “miseducates” students, and he offers an expanded understanding of what he sees as America’s educational needs, especially the need for new models of education for citizenship.

Failing Our Kids: Why the Testing Craze Won’t Fix Our Schools, edited by Kathy Swope and Barbara Miner (a Rethinking Schools Publication, 1001 E. Keefe Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53212; 148 pp., $8 paperback) . Includes over 50 articles by parents, activists, teachers, students, and researchers, who offer critiques of standardized testing and outline alternative ways to assess students’ learning.

Learning To Change: Teaching Beyond Subjects and Standards, by Andy Hargreaves, Lorna Earl, Shawn Moore, and Susan Manning (Jossey-Bass, a Wiley Company, 350 Sansom St., Fifth Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104; 222 pp., $28.95 hardcover). Presents the feelings and experiences of 29 teachers of 7th and 8th graders in four school districts as they encounter new school reforms such as integrated curriculum, common learning standards, and alternative modes of assessment. The authors highlight the emotional demands that school change imposes on teachers and provide strategies for working through the transition process involved.

Trinnietta Gets a Chance: Six Families and Their School Choice Experiment, by Daniel McGroarty (Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Ave. N.E., Washington, DC 20002; 156 pp., $9.50 paperback). The author, a Bradley fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington and a senior director of the White House Writers Group, puts a human face on the issue of school choice by profiling six families whose children are succeeding educationally under voucher programs in Milwaukee, Cleveland, and San Antonio.

—A.E. Conrad

For more information, contact the publisher, your local library, or bookstore. To order, call (888) 887-3200 or visit www.edweek.org/products/book shelf.htm.

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A version of this article appeared in the February 21, 2001 edition of Education Week

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