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First published in 1984, this best-selling classic is Theodore Sizer's eloquent call to arms for school reform. In a new preface, Sizer addresses the encouraging movements afoot today for better schools, smaller classes, and fully educated students. Yet, while much has changed for the better in the classroom, much remains the same: rushed classes, mindless tests, overworked teachers. Sizer's insistence that we do more than just compromise for our children's educational futures resonates just as strongly today as it did two decades ago.
From America's "most prominent school reformer" (LOS ANGELES TIMES) comes a stirring personal meditation on what works-and what doesn't-in our high schools today. Revisiting America's classrooms, Sizer assesses the changes over the past decade and a half - from school choice to interdisciplinary learning - that give us reason to be hopeful. Tracy Kidder has called this"an eloquent book. "
Since the late 1970s, Theodore Sizer has studied and worked among hundreds of American high schools. His research was first published in 1984 in HORACE'S COMPROMISE. Sizer now proposes a process of redesign which respects the best of the rich traditions of secondary schooling while doing far more to educate our youth.
This engaging and important book is a critique of American education wrapped in a memoir. Drawing on his fifty years as teacher, principal, researcher, professor, and dean, Theodore R. Sizer identifies three crucial areas in which policy discussion about public education has been dangerously silent. He argues that we must break that silence and rethink how to educate our youth. Sizer discusses our failure to differentiate between teaching and learning, noting that formal schooling must adapt to and confront the powerful influences found outside traditional classrooms. He examines the practical as well as philosophical necessity for sharing policy-making authority among families, schools, and centralized governments. And he denounces our fetish with order, our belief that the familiar routines that have existed for generations are the only way to bring learning to children. Sizer provides alternatives to these failed routines-guidelines for creating a new educational system that would, among other things, break with wasteful traditional practice, utilize agencies and arrangements beyond the school building, and design each child's educational program around his or her particular needs and potential.