Cover image for Teaching in America : the slow revolution
Teaching in America : the slow revolution
Grant, Gerald.
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Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
280 pages ; 25 cm
Two professions -- Assessing America's teachers and schools -- The essential acts of teaching -- Three questions every teacher must answer -- The modern origins of the profession: Florence's story, 1890-1920 -- Reforming teaching in the midst of social crisis: Andrena's story, 1960-1990 -- Teachers' struggle to take charge of their practice: the Rochester story, 1987-1997 -- The progress of the slow revolution throughout the nation -- Teaching in 2020.
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LB1775.2 .G73 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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If the essential acts of teaching are the same for schoolteachers and professors, why are they seen as members of quite separate professions? Would the nation's schools be better served if teachers shared more of the authority that professors have long enjoyed? Will a slow revolution be completed that enables schoolteachers to take charge of their practice - to shoulder more responsibility for hiring, mentoring, promoting and, if necessary, firing their peers?

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

At a time when teachers--and their much-maligned product--are under severe scrutiny, Grant and Murray examine changing notions about the profession. They cite a quiet and slow revolution that advocates giving teachers more control over what and how they teach, putting them on a par with university professors. This book offers historical perspective on how the profession has changed, demographics on teacher and student populations in modern public school systems, and critical examination of current experiments to improve teaching. The authors are firm supporters of teacher efforts to wrest control from administrators and bureaucrats and to deal with their unions' desire to protect members--and the unions' own vested interests. The authors suggest that what is needed to improve teaching is more career development, focus on teaching skills, and more rigorous evaluation of teaching results. Grant and Murray provide thoughtful insight into how teaching is evolving at this critical point in the development of U.S. school systems. --Vanessa Bush

Publisher's Weekly Review

This unusual book began at the authors' dinner tables, when they noticed that their spouses‘one an elementary school teacher, one a university professor‘were treated quite differently even though their work was "essentially the same." This realization prompted months of research into the history of schoolteachers and university professors. Grant and Murray refer to the crusade of college professors in the late 19th century as the "first revolution"‘in which male professors fought a male administrative regime for higher pay and control over curriculum and tenure. A second revolution, they argue, is occurring now among schoolteachers, but slowly. It "pits mostly female workers, who have often been demeaned as high-paid baby-sitters, against entrenched male leaders." The book chronicles the significant progress of this slow revolution, focusing on three landmark case studies. Readers concerned with the condition of public schools and the status of schoolteachers will find that Grant and Murray not only provide them with solid ammunition for debate but also give them reason to keep up their spirits. (Mar.) FYI: Teaching in America won the publisher's annual prize awarded to an outstanding book about education and society. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

Grant (Syracuse Univ.) and Murray (SUNY, Brockport) argue that the act of teaching is the same for schoolteachers and university professors, but that society sees the two as members of quite different professions. They pose the question of whether public education might be better served if teachers shared more "policing" of their profession, as professors do, and whether the completion of an already-begun "slow revolution" that enables schoolteachers to take charge of their practice in hiring, mentoring, promoting, and, when necessary, firing their peers will turn a more positive light on the profession. By sharing the thoughts of famous teachers and some ordinary ones too, they thoughtfully review the teaching profession. Their in-depth focus on recent experiments that give teachers the power to shape their schools and mentor new recruits to teaching is insightful. Grant and Murray conclude that the educational system will be saved not by better managers but by better teachers. These new teachers' talents and skills must be developed and their teaching performance assessed through better means and the involvement of other teachers. All levels. G. E. Pawlas University of Central Florida

Table of Contents

1 Two Professions