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The teacher wars: a history of America's most embattled profession

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In her groundbreaking history of 175 years of American education, Dana Goldstein finds answers in the past to the controversies that plague our public schools today. Teaching is a wildly contentious profession in America, one attacked and admired in equal measure. In The Teacher Wars , a rich, lively, and unprecedented history of public school teaching, Dana Goldstein reveals that teachers have been similarly embattled for nearly two centuries. From the genteel founding of the common schools movement in the nineteenth century to the violent inner-city teacher strikes of the 1960s and '70s, from the dispatching of Northeastern women to frontier schoolhouses to the founding of Teach for America on the Princeton University campus in 1989, Goldstein shows that the same issues have continued to bedevil us: Who should teach? What should be taught? Who should be held accountable for how our children learn?

She uncovers the surprising roots of hot button issues, from teacher tenure to charter schools, and finds that recent popular ideas to improve schools--instituting merit pay, evaluating teachers by student test scores, ranking and firing veteran teachers, and recruiting "elite" graduates to teach--are all approaches that have been tried in the past without producing widespread change. And she also discovers an emerging effort that stands a real chance of transforming our schools for the better: drawing on the best practices of the three million public school teachers we already have in order to improve learning throughout our nation's classrooms.

The Teacher Wars upends the conversation about American education by bringing the lessons of history to bear on the dilemmas we confront today. By asking "How did we get here?" Dana Goldstein brilliantly illuminates the path forward.

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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID f2efdc14-3daa-144a-0f9d-124785010f7b
Grouping Title teacher wars a history of americas most embattled profession
Grouping Author goldstein dana
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-02-19 22:45:13PM
Last Indexed 2019-02-19 23:59:17PM

Solr Details

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author Dana Goldstein
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collection_catalog Civil Rights Room, Non-Fiction
detailed_location_catalog Bordeaux - Adult Non-Fiction, Edmondson Pike - Adult Non-Fiction, Green Hills - Adult Non-Fiction, Hermitage - Adult Non-Fiction, Main Library - Adult Non-Fiction, Southeast - Adult Non-Fiction, Special Collections - Civil Rights Room
display_description "A brilliant young scholar's history of 175 years of teaching in America shows that teachers have always borne the brunt of shifting, often impossible expectations. In other nations, public schools are one thread in a quilt that includes free universal child care, health care, and job training. Here, schools are the whole cloth. Today we look around the world at countries like Finland and South Korea, whose students consistently outscore Americans on standardized tests, and wonder what we are doing wrong. Dana Goldstein first asks the often-forgotten question: "How did we get here?" She argues that we must take the historical perspective, understanding the political and cultural baggage that is tied to teaching, if we have any hope of positive change. In her lively, character-driven history of public teaching, Goldstein guides us through American education's many passages, including the feminization of teaching in the 1800s and the fateful growth of unions, and shows that the battles fought over nearly two centuries echo the very dilemmas we cope with today. Goldstein shows that recent innovations like Teach for America, merit pay, and teacher evaluation via student testing are actually as old as public schools themselves. Goldstein argues that long-festering ambivalence about teachers--are they civil servants or academic professionals?--and unrealistic expectations that the schools alone should compensate for poverty's ills have driven the most ambitious people from becoming teachers and sticking with it. In America's past, and in local innovations that promote the professionalization of the teaching corps, Goldstein finds answers to an age-old problem"--
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owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
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primary_isbn 9780345803627
publishDate 2014
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subject_facet Educational change -- United States -- History, Public schools -- United States -- History, Teachers -- Professional relationships -- United States -- History, Teaching -- United States -- History
title_display The teacher wars : a history of America's most embattled profession
title_full The Teacher Wars A History of America's Most Embattled Profession, The teacher wars : a history of America's most embattled profession / Dana Goldstein
title_short The teacher wars :
title_sub a history of America's most embattled profession
topic_facet Education, Educational change, History, Nonfiction, Professional relationships, Public schools, Teachers, Teaching