The Teacher Wars

The Teacher Wars

A History of America's Most Embattled Profession

Book - 2014
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"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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, [2014]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780385536950
Call Number: 371.102 G5782t
Characteristics: x, 349 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 25 cm


From Library Staff

Goldstein traces the issues faced by the teaching profession (i.e. tenure, unionization, job evaluation) throughout US history, demonstrating how and why teaching and learning have changed.

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Jul 12, 2017

As a public education teacher, I'm pretty biased towards this book. Dana Goldstein's book about teaching in America is thorough, smart, and insightful. Although the last decade has been pretty rough for teachers (Assaults on unions, continued poor wages, the push towards privatization, and so forth.), Goldstein points out that teaching has always been, as the subtitle says, an "embattled profession." If you're reading this and thinking about going into education: don't. I'd also recommend books by Diane Ravitch.

carnett1 Apr 08, 2015

The Questions to ask: Who doesn't teach; What was not taught? What
populations are not in reception of valuable knowledge? What acts of
ignorance took place for such attention to the indication of one's or
many's lack of knowledge?

What situations arose to create such inquiries and questions? What
populations are not able to learn of such situations? Why and who and
how many are prohibiting such learning? If education equality exists
by argument of any in opposition of these questions then has knowledge
dispersed equally and in the same manner?

Finland and South Korea are: manufacturers; in addition to alliance
members of electronics of mainstream use the product of collaboration
between such countries. Through administrative access; knowledge can
be gleaned and distributed without the consent of the U.S. given such
alliances against the U.S.' purposely selected disadvantaged
populations which unfortunately to countries such as South Korea and
Finland, do represent the U.S.' populations despite elected officials'
representation and leadership.


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