Cover image for Making our high schools better : how parents and teachers can work together
Making our high schools better : how parents and teachers can work together
Dodd, Anne W.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
xxviii, 276 pages ; 22 cm
Added Author:
Format :


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Material Type
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Item Holds
LC225.3 .D63 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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"The Deep Chasm Between what parents want education to provide for their children and what teachers must provide for entire classrooms is one of the most vexing problems facing our nation today. Making Our High Schools Better examines how the different perspectives of parents and teachers can be understood and negotiated to improve high schools. This book examines these diverging - and sometimes contradictory - perspectives, explains why parents and teachers should work together to help all children learn, and offers suggestions of ways to open the doors to productive dialogue and collaboration. Anne Wescott Dodd and Jean L. Konzal use in-depth interviews with teachers and parents to give faces and voices to both sides of the conflict. Making Our High Schools Better is an illuminating book that does more than acknowledge problems, it seeks and discovers the steps leading to solutions."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Author Notes

Anne Wescott Dodd is the chair of the Education Department at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.
Jean L. Konzal is an assistant professor in the Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education at The College of New Jersey in Ewing, New Jersey

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Based on the independent studies of education professors Dodd (Bates Coll.) and Konzal (Coll. of New Jersey) involving educators and the parents of high school students, this book examines how the differing perspectives of parents and teachers can be understood and negotiated to improve high schools. Many education reformers promote the value of parental involvement, yet most parents of secondary school students never set foot in school. Normally, teachers view themselves as experts on teaching and learning and often see parents as problems or critics. The authors use in-depth interviews with parents and teachers to give faces and voices to both sides of the conflict. This nondogmatic book about a complex social reality is written for concerned parents, educators, and community members who are committed to school improvement. Recommended for all libraries.Samuel T. Huang, Northern Illinois Univ. Libs., DeKalb (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

This volume, based on two independent doctoral dissertations, covers a subject for which little previous literature exists: parent involvement in public secondary school education. Both authors completed qualitative interview studies in two small New England towns; they talked to parents, teachers and administrators. They both also have experience as parents, teachers, school administrators, and teacher educators. Dodd and Konzal provide historical background to explain their findings that "teachers as professionals and parents as active participants in the life of a school have competing and contradictory roles that complicate their relationships." In addition, parents have "a range of opinions about teaching and learning--from the most traditional to the most progressive views." Schools, however, attempt to cope with many community demands and generally profess to engage in "progressive" educational reform practices, although actual practice may differ. Additionally, the authors describe four programs in a range of communities (none in new England) that have successfully engaged parents with secondary schools, and they include an extensive list of recommendations and resources (organizations, print material, and online sites) for both parents, education professionals, and student teachers interested in improving relationships between parents and secondary schools. Recommended for general readers, advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and practitioners. G. E. Hein; Lesley College

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. xvii
Part I Understanding the Often Problematic Relationships Between Parents and Schools
1. Why Focus on Improving Relationships between Parents and Educators?p. 3
2. What Can Be Learned from Looking at the Past?p. 14
3. How Do Competing Roles Complicate Relationships?p. 37
4. What Influences Parents' Opinions about High School?p. 67
Part II Understanding Tensions Created by Different Opinions About Teaching and Testing
5. What Is Learning? What Is Teaching?p. 87
6. What and How Should Students Learn?p. 109
7. How Should Student Learning Be Assessed?p. 146
Part III Building Bridges to Parents and the Community
8. Parents as Learners: Four Profilesp. 173
9. Opening Doors to Parents and Community Members: Snapshots and Suggestionsp. 194
10. From Parent Involvement to Community Building: A Call to Actionp. 231
Appendicesp. 247
A. Resourcesp. 247
B. Description of Studiesp. 256
Notesp. 261
Indexp. 271