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Download City Teachers: Teaching and School Reform in Historical Perspective epub

by Kate Rousmaniere

Does school reform make better schools? City Teachers: Teaching and School Reform in Historical Perspectivevividly recreates teachers’ work in urban (New York City) schools in a period of intense school reform (the 1920s), as teachers and schools coped with an ever-larger and diverse student body. Rousmaniere depicts how New York City teachers experienced citywide reform initiatives in their already stressful workday, and how they resisted, undermined, and adapted school reform policy. Drawing on extensive interviews with teachers of an earlier generation, Rousmaniere lets readers see the complexity of teachers’ work, their problems with reform implementation, and the conditions they believed were necessary for real change. This is an important book because it raises questions about teachers’ historical work culture and the effects of teachers’ working conditions. It will be invaluable reading in graduate courses in the history of education, urban education, and teacher education and for professors, researchers, and general readers in these fields.

Download City Teachers: Teaching and School Reform in Historical Perspective epub
ISBN: 0807735884
ISBN13: 978-0807735886
Category: History
Subcategory: Americas
Author: Kate Rousmaniere
Language: English
Publisher: Teachers College Press (June 15, 1997)
Pages: 192 pages
ePUB size: 1639 kb
FB2 size: 1701 kb
Rating: 4.2
Votes: 821
Other Formats: rtf docx mobi lrf

City Teachers offers the reader unique insight into a much neglected story-the story of teachers in urban schools (most notably New York City) in the 1920s, a period of great reform in public education. The exigence of a study of urban schools of the 1920s in the 21st century is made most obvious by its Summer 1999 review in the Harvard Educational Review. Here, Dr. Kathleen Murphey of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, states that "readers will be led to reflect on the enduring dimensions of teachers' the reform-minded present" (p. 205, 69:2). Like Dr. Murphey, I reflected on the ways the call for reform affects administrators, teachers, students, and the community even today. The prevalent themes of the emergence of intensification of work, isolation, stress, and unfavorable physical conditions due to 1920s reforms are still readily apparent in many schools in urban, suburban, and rural settings.
Rousmaniere's balanced use of primary and secondary added not only credibility but also a personal touch to her work. While Dr. Murphey criticizes that Rousmaniere's work "remains unconnected to the story of collective organizing that followed in the 1930s and later" (p. 210), I feel this book, offers an accurate (and complete) representation of urban school teaching at this time and encourages the reader to draw the connections between this era and others. As a pre-service teacher, I found this book extremely thought-provoking about the ways in which reform will shape my workplace and work experiences throughout my career.
In this book, Rousmaniere argues that education reform during the early twentieth century was challenging and inadequate. According to claims made by the boards of education in the 1920's, education was expected "to open up the occupation to a diverse group of talented young people," yet young teachers entering the profession were not given the support needed. The shifting educational reform placed high demands on teachers without sufficient support and "control over their resources and time." Teachers were expected to execute the roles of guidance counselor and teacher. "A broad and unwieldy curriculum demanded that teachers do more than simply teach class." Also, Rousmaniere states that teaching is an isolated working environment and teachers are "alienated from one another." The working conditions place teachers in overcrowded school rooms with little communication with individuals other than students. A continuous discrepancy between teachers and administrators left little room for improvement. Finally, teachers must learn to acclimatize to working conditions "by alternately accommodating to, adapting to, and resisting certain aspects of their work, surreptitiously claiming some control over their job."
The reflections of Rousmaniere show us that a number of methods have changed since the 1920's, yet a number have stayed the same.
I read this book for a graduate level college education course. This book was very easy to read and had my attention to the very end. I found this book to be very insightful and an affirming presentation of the process of educational reform. Rousmaniere described the lives and work of teachers during the third decade of the twentieth century in clear detail. As an aspiring teacher, I was able to understand some of the ways the call for reform affected administrators, teachers, students, and the community in the 1920's, most of which are still prevalent in education today. In addition, Rousmanieres' prevalent themes such as work conditions, isolation, stress, and unfavorable physical conditions due to 1920s reforms are still readily apparent in many schools in urban, suburban, and rural settings today. In light of these reoccurring themes that seem to haunt educational progress, I found this book relevant to what I can expect to see and face as a future educator.