In 1932, Willard Waller published his classic book, The Sociology of Teaching. For years I used a chapter from it ("The Teacher-Pupil Relationship") as a way to get students to think about the problem that most frightens rookie teachers and that continues to haunt even the most experienced practitioners: how to gain and maintain control … Continue reading Willard Waller on the Power Struggle between Teachers and Students
Month: March 2020
Two Cheers for School Bureaucracy
This post is a piece I wrote for Kappan, published in the March 2020 edition. Here's a link to the PDF. Bureaucracies are often perceived as inflexible, impersonal, hierarchical, and too devoted to rules and red tape. But here I make a case for these characteristics being a positive in the world of public education. … Continue reading Two Cheers for School Bureaucracy
Michael Katz — Alternative Forms of School Governance
This post is my reflection on a classic piece by my former advisor, Michael Katz. It's a chapter in Class, Bureaucracy, and Schools called "Alternative Proposals for American Education: The Nineteenth Century." Here's a link to a PDF of the chapter. The core argument is this. In American politics of education in the 19th century, … Continue reading Michael Katz — Alternative Forms of School Governance
What Schools Can Do that Families Can’t: Robert Dreeben’s Analysis
In this post, I explore a key issue in understanding the social role that schools play: Why do we need schools anyway? For thousands of years, children grew up learning the skills, knowledge, and values they would need in order to be fully functioning adults. They didn't need schools to accomplish this. The family, the … Continue reading What Schools Can Do that Families Can’t: Robert Dreeben’s Analysis
Course: School — What Is It Good For?
This post is the syllabus of a course I taught for years at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. It's called School -- What Is It Good For? I've copied the syllabus below, to give you an idea of what it's all about. The aim is to provide a guided exploration of alternative theories of … Continue reading Course: School — What Is It Good For?