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Horace's Compromise: The Dilemma of the American High School Paperback – September 23, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0618516063 ISBN-10: 0618516069 Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (September 23, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618516069
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618516063
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #321,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Offers the most far-reaching blueprint for change at a time when school reform has become a hot political subject." (Newsweek) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Theordore R. Sizer, University Professor Emeritus at Brown Universtiy, is the chairman of the coalition of Essential Schools. He lives in Harvard, Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
If you're going to be a high school teacher, this book could be a useful tool. First published in 1984, Sizer takes an in-depth look at American high schools. He not only points out strengths and weaknesses, but offers a course of action for how we can make our schools work the best for each individual student. The only problem I really had with the book was that the statistics were outdated but through reading in my Education class, I've found that most of them hold true. It was easy to read and I found the chapters about the average days of students and teachers very telling.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 15, 1998
Format: Paperback
Theodore Sizer accurately portrays high schools in the shape they are in today. He praises where it's due and as is more often the case, addresses areas of concern. However, he doesn't merely throw stones, more importantly he offers solutions. What he is talking about is real restructuring, not simply reorganizing. We need to think carefully about how our schools are designed and do a better job of fitting them to our students' needs. Sizer offers actual interviews with students, teachers, administrators, all the stakeholders in education today. This book could only be written by a man who truly loves kids and schools, yet agonizes over all the wasted opportunities. Sizer wants what we all want, to be more effective in the classrooms. This book is challenging, frustrating, and sometimes joyous, basically what a typical high school teacher feels every day in the front lines of the classroom. A must read for every teacher, regardless of beginner or veteran. It has something for everybody.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By cvairag VINE VOICE on November 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
Since the other reviewers won't tell you what Horace's compromise is, I will. Every high school teacher sooner or later comes to the place where the most important career decision has to be made. Put in the positive sense, the question is: how far are you willing to live for your ideals, i.e., truly educate your students, and keep your standards at the highest levels, in other words, standards you are comfortable with? Put in the negative: how far can you continue to hold respectable standards for student achievement and still survive on the job? Today's high school presents an enormously challenging environment. Very simply, adminstrators and students wield entirely too much power in the classroom, power which has been taken from the teacher. It's not for no reason at all that every pedagogic training institution shows its prospective teachers "The Crucible" (By the way, the term is "classroom hell" - and regardless of what they say, teaching pundit advice aside, it comes to most every teacher - the only difference being in degree).
Walter Annenberg, a media mogul whose controversial dealings made him one of the richest men in the world (he purchased the last Van Gogh ever auctioned), in the late 1980's, funded the education department at Brown University with the largest grant ever awarded to an academic institution in America. Say what you will about Ted Sizer. He succeeded where most academics fail miserably. He procured enough money to research education for many, many lifetimes. The first fruits of this research are embodied in the trilogy which begins with Horace's Compromise.
I think Annenberg was probably somewhat disappointed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
Outstanding, I found this book very easy to read. While reading the book, my high school days were revisited several times. I found myself thinking "did this guy visit my school?" I know he didn't but, I found many similarities the author depicts to my days in high school. I think this book would be a helpful tool to any person interested in teaching high school students. Not only does Sizer address the shortcoming, he also suggest some resolutions to the problems. I would definitely recommend this book to education majors.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
Theodore Sizer has cranked out a cottage industry's worth of books all focused on illuminating the absurdity of the current school system and offering a well-reasoned model for redesigning those schools to achieve the purposes for which they are funded. He is the voice of the "Coalition of Essential Schools" model for reform. Each book uses a fictitious "Horace" for dramatic dialogue, following "Horace's Compromise" which communicated Sizer's research findings in 1982. His very readable style, primarily narrative rich with anecdotes of the many schools he personally visited, established him as a popular and credible author. You don't have to have a graduate degree in education to understand him or to feel as if you, too, could be instrumental in change after you have red his books. One innovation I like is the inclusion of literature in the arts--a clear challenge to the College Board's traditional division of disciplines, and the plea to liberate schools from curriculum a mile wide and an inch deep: "less is more". A good companion author is John Goodlad.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. O'Hanlon on June 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
Even though the book was written in 1984, many of the dilemmas faced in the American high school haven't changed. Students still need more stimulation from teachers and curriculum. This book highlights some of the main themes that can be seen in most high schools even today.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to get into the teaching profession. A student in an introductory education class would be a good audience. This would give them a picture of high school from a non-student glance, which they often won't encounter until several semesters into their undergraduate career. This way they have a better idea of what to expect when they complete a practicum or student teaching experience.

Veteran teachers would also benefit from reading this book. It is easy to get caught up in curriculum and forget that there are teenagers in the room. Their needs are often forgotten. This book is a good reminder of "the other side of the story". This book was a good reminder of what is really going on in high school classrooms.

Anyone who works in a school, but may not have been in a classroom for a while should also read this book. Again, it is a good reminder of what teachers and students are experiencing on a daily basis.

This is a book that I will keep and p
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