By and large, the recent focus on American education has been on the shortcomings of our worst schools. Pope, a lecturer at the Stanford University School of Education, zeroes in on a well-regarded California public high school and explores "the educational experience" from the students' points of view. Her year-long shadowing of five intelligent, motivated students from diverse backgrounds raises the troubling proposition that even our best schools may be misserving our best students, and reveals the ambiguous nature of our successes. Devoting a detailed chapter to the school lives of each student, Pope asks two important questions: "What exactly is being learned in high schools like Faircrest? And at what costs?" The answers are dismaying. Students learn that getting A's is of supreme importance, and that it is sometimes more advantageous to be "system savvy" than it is to actually learn the material. Still, Pope's five subjects work hard at grueling routines, sacrificing sleep and social lives to the desire to succeed. The costs of their achievements, she suggests, are "severe anxiety or breakdowns," "persistent health or sleep problems" and ethical compromise in the conflict between these students' ideals and values and the grade-grubbing, self-serving alliances with adult advocates and (usually subtle) cheating they deem necessary to success. A scholarly study presented with great clarity and enlivened by vignettes of student life, this work provides a fresh perspective on the state of American education, and yet another reason to press for systematic reform.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In this important and timely study, Pope, a veteran teacher, curriculum expert, and lecturer at the Stanford University School of Education, offers a revealing look at the quandaries of today's high school students. The book is based on Pope's yearlong research, which consisted of shadowing and interviewing five successful students of diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds at a highly regarded California public high school. Pope adroitly takes the students' point of view and finds that they are frustrated by being caught in a "grade trap"; often stressed out, exhausted, and anxious, they are resentful that their future success is dependent on their GPA and test scores. These and similar findings raise critical questions for concerned parents, educators, and policy makers involved in all levels of education, making this an essential purchase for high school, college, and university libraries and one strongly recommended for public libraries where interest in education is strong. Samuel T. Huang, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The book is well done, but don't read it if you're this student. I'm being forced to read this for school (Education major), but it's not helpful when I've been living this life... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Oz
So relevant to today's educational systems in America. It makes you really think about the education kids get these daysPublished 16 months ago by Robert
This book provides valuable insight into the feelings and actions of high school students. It is an important read for parents, teachers and anyone who has interest in what it is... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Sandy at EDNavigators
Very insightful and good information as we all parent our children. She looks at the lives of several high school students and how they "do" school. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Posi
This book is a great start, for parents and especially teens, to get a clear view of what our educational system has become, how it destroys the love of learning, and how it has... Read morePublished on July 18, 2013 by June Ely
I appreciate this book's thesis and profiles of the students. However, it is repetitious and verbose. All one needs is to read the first chapter, and one gets the point. Read morePublished on November 29, 2012 by we'll be ok
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