Historically, Americans of all stripes have concurred that teachers were essential to the success of the public schools and nation. However, they have also concurred that public school teachers were to blame for the failures of the schools and identified professionalization as a panacea. In Blaming Teachers, Diana D'Amico Pawlewicz reveals that historical professionalization reforms subverted public school teachers’ professional legitimacy. Superficially, professionalism connotes authority, expertise, and status. Professionalization for teachers never unfolded this way; rather, it was a policy process fueled by blame where others identified teachers’ shortcomings. Policymakers, school leaders, and others understood professionalization measures for teachers as efficient ways to bolster the growing bureaucratic order of the public schools through regulation and standardization. Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century with the rise of municipal public school systems and reaching into the 1980s, Blaming Teachers traces the history of professionalization policies and the discourses of blame that sustained them.
How a prolific yet little-known architect changed the face of education in New York City As Superintendent of School Buildings from 1891 to 1922, architect Charles B. J. Snyder elevated the standards of school architecture. Unprecedented immigration and Progressive Era changes in educational philosophy led to his fresh approach to design and architecture, which forever altered the look and feel of twentieth-century classrooms and school buildings. Students rich or poor, immigrant or native New Yorker, went from learning in factory-like schools to attending classes in schools with architectural designs and enhancements that to many made them seem like palaces. Spanning three decades, From Factories to Palaces provides a thought-provoking narrative of Charles Snyder and shows how he integrated his personal experiences and innovative design skills with Progressive Era school reform to improve students’ educational experience in New York City and, by extension, across the nation. During his thirty-one years of service, Snyder oversaw the construction of more than 400 New York City public schools and additions, of which more than half remain in use today. Instead of blending in with the surrounding buildings as earlier schools had, Snyder’s were grand and imposing. “He does that which no other architect before his time ever did or tried: He builds them beautiful,” wrote Jacob Riis. Working with the Building Bureau, Snyder addressed the school situation on three fronts: appearance, construction, and function. He re-designed schools for greater light and air, improved their sanitary facilities, and incorporated quality-of-life features such as heated cloakrooms and water fountains. Author and educator Dr. Jean Arrington chronicles how Snyder worked alongside a group of like-minded, hardworking individuals—Building Bureau draftsmen, builders, engineers, school administrators, teachers, and custodians—to accomplish this feat. This revelatory book offers fascinating glimpses into the nascent world of modern education, from the development of specialty areas, such as the school gymnasium, auditorium, and lunchroom, to the emergence of school desks with backs as opposed to uncomfortable benches, all housed in some of the first fireproofed schools in the nation. Thanks to Snyder, development was always done with the students’ safety, well-being, and learning in mind. Lively historical drawings, architectural layouts, and photographs of school building exteriors and interiors enhance the engaging story. Funding for this book was provided by: Furthermore: a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund
Viewing the public as owners rather than customers of government, this book argues that better performance by public agencies requires active and responsible citizens as well as efficient organizations.
How do calendars and clocks influence considerations of school effectiveness? From the creation of compulsory education to the future of virtual schooling, Weiss and Brown trace two centuries of school practices, policies and research linking the concept of time with ‘opportunity to learn’. School calendars and clocks are shaped by both the physical and social worlds, and the ‘clock of schooling’ is shown to be one of the ‘great clocks of society’ that helps to frame school effectiveness. School time does not operate in a vacuum, but within curriculum, teaching and learning situations. The phrase ‘chrono-curriculum’ was devised by the authors as a metaphor for exploring issues of school effectiveness within the time dimension. Using American and Canadian sources, stories are created to illustrate four themes about time and school effectiveness. The first three stories utilize access, attendance and testing as criteria associated with these eras of schooling. How will the story read in the fourth era, the digital age, which forces us to a reconsideration of time and its influence on education? Quoting David Berliner in his Foreword: “ this is an opportune time for these authors to bring us insights into the reasons we in North America created our public school systems, and how the chrono-curriculum influences those systems. The authors’ presentation of our educational past provides educators a chance to think anew about how we might do schooling in our own times.”