Readings Of Notes

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

From "The School Development Program: A Psychosocial Model of School Intervention,'' by James P. Comer, in Black Students: Psychosocial Issues and Academic Achievement, edited by Gordon LaVern Berry and Joy Keiko Asamen (Newbury Park, Calif., Sage Publications, Inc., 1989).

Dancing Too Close

Reporter Susan Kammeraad-Campbell describes the struggles of an innovative New Hampshire school principal, Dennis Littky, to retain his job in the face of attacks from ultra-conservative parents: "A small, attractive woman raised her hand [at the school board meeting] and stood up. She introduced herself as Nancy Paight, candidate for the school board....'I'm here as a parent,' she said in a strong, clear voice. 'Last weekend, my husband and I chaperoned at a dance....I saw some things I didn't like. Kids were dancing and their hands were in places they weren't supposed to be....I know you saw it. You were closer than I was. What did you do about it, Dr. Littky?'

'Don't tell me what I saw,' Littky said, looking straight at her. 'We expect that if you're there as a parent chaperon that you're there to supervise the kids, not to spy.'

"The woman tensed....I didn't say anything. I wanted to see how far it would go. You had to be blind as a bat if you didn't see it. We might as well say what it is. We might as well say public petting because that's what it was.'

"Mrs. Paight, I didn't see whatever it is you're talking about.....[T]hat dance was no different than any other,' Littky said.

"Bud Baker, in his halting, congenial tone, asked her, 'Is this your first dance as a chaperon?'

"Yes,' she said.''

From Doc: The Story of Dennis Littky and His Fight for a Better School, by Susan Kammeraad-Campbell (Chicago, Contemporary Books, 1989).

Barriers To Better Biology Teaching

Grace S. Taylor, a clinical professor of biology at Brown University and a former high school biology teacher, analyzes some of the reasons why high school biology teaching is so often limited to "rote learning and cookbook laboratory experiments'': "There is often more than a grain of truth in axioms, and 'teachers teach as they were taught' is truer than most. In college classrooms throughout the country, Biology 101 students are trapped in a maze of facts and a haze of terms. They become passive learners, recipients of information, whose habits of thought and inquiry are underdeveloped. Thus, we should not be surprised when our biology student-teachers teach in the same way.''

From "Different Schools: Same Barriers,'' by Grace S. Taylor, in High School Biology Today and Tomorrow, edited by Walter G. Rosen (Washington, D.C., National Academy Press, 1989).

Vol. 01, Issue 06, Page 1-24

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories