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Download Small Schools and Strong Communities: A Third Way of School Reform epub

by Kenneth A. Strike

In this insightful book, Kenneth Strike develops a new vision of school reform. Arguing that good schools are first and foremost strong communities, Strike maintains that the small schools movement is the best hope to create such schools. He shows how the core assumptions that characterize the “community paradigm” are preferable to those of standards-based reform and choice. Part I examines student disengagement as an issue largely unaddressed by current views of school reform; demonstrates that belonging is essential to authentic learning; and argues that good schools create a sense that “we are all in this together.” Good schools have a “shared educational project” and exhibit the four Cs of community: coherence, cohesion, care, and connectivity. Part II discusses the small schools movement. The author shows that small size is not sufficient to create strong communities or good schools―we cannot just downsize and hope that something good will happen. Strike looks at the educational practices and policies required to create successful small schools, and develops a view of accountability appropriate for building successful educational communities. He argues that if we expect small schools to be successful we cannot view them as simply a strategy for succeeding on standards-based reform, but rather we must see the creation of strong communities as a distinct paradigm for school reform.

Download Small Schools and Strong Communities: A Third Way of School Reform epub
ISBN: 0807750581
ISBN13: 978-0807750582
Category: Education
Subcategory: Schools & Teaching
Author: Kenneth A. Strike
Language: English
Publisher: Teachers College Press (April 5, 2010)
Pages: 208 pages
ePUB size: 1536 kb
FB2 size: 1752 kb
Rating: 4.7
Votes: 178
Other Formats: docx azw lrf doc

Kenneth Strike explains that the two newest fads in education today, charter schools and standards-based reform, are both wrecking the traditional neighborhood school. Charter schools transfer responsibility for education from the local school to publically-funded, but privately-run organizations. The standards movement transfers control of schools to state and federal bureaucrats. Although the movements are different, both are stripping teachers and parents of their role in the education of children.

Strike states that a key obstacle to education is student alienation, and that this alienation can be overcome in small schools. Large public schools are often deeply impersonal and unsafe, and a high percentage of students don't want to be there. Anyone who has ever taught knows the difficulty in teaching students who are alienated with school. The book honestly discusses studies done on small schools, illustrating both success stories, and mistakes made in creating small schools.

I have two problems with the book. Strike is very redundant, repeating the same themes over and over, to such an extent that the book is not easy to read. Also, the book advocates breaking up large schools into small theme-based schools (e.g., science schools, arts schools). While I agree with the breakup of grotesquely-large schools, theme-based schools that segregate children by interest groups are not the answer. Small, neighborhood-based schools are the answer. Although I take some issues with the book, I recommend it for anyone who is interested in school reform.
Is it possible to return this book? This is not what I am looking for
Fills and important and inadequately met need for a philosophical consideration of the idea of community to the structure and reform of public schools.