Cover image for Uncertain lives : children of promise, teachers of hope
Uncertain lives : children of promise, teachers of hope
Bullough, Robert V., 1949-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Teachers College Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
xiv, 127 pages ; 24 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
LC4091 .B85 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Written for all those who are concerned about the plight of children in America, most especially future school teachers, Uncertain Lives tells the stories of 34 children, enrolled in a K 6 urban school. The tale told is one of children doing the best they know how under trying life circumstances. Presenting the voices of the children themselves, Robert Bullough puts a hopeful and ultimately human face on what are otherwise grim statistics.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Interviews with 34 children in an urban K-6 school are the focus of this little gem of a book. Juan and his mother are hiding from a gang who killed Juan's uncle. Shane was a drug baby. The author supplements his interviews with facts and reflections about homelessness, poverty, child abuse, absent fathers, parents using drugs, parental injury, and death. Yet in this school, Lafayette Elementary, children are generally doing well because of a dedicated and skilled group of teachers who, in general, avoid the pedagogy of poverty. Getting beneath the stereotypes of "at risk" children and illuminating the individual lives of each child he interviewed, Bullough shows how alike all children are in their hopes and aspirations and their desires to succeed academically and socially. The author has an abiding faith in children and a belief that good teachers who get to know their charges are the key to school improvement. But he argues beyond that for changes in social policy that reduce poverty, increase affordable housing, and make life better for all Americans, particularly children. Anyone contemplating a career in teaching elementary school should read this book. W. L. McKinney University of Rhode Island