Teachers in the Middle: Reclaiming the Wasteland of the Adolescent Years of Schooling (Adolescent Cultures, School, and Society)

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9780820474595: Teachers in the Middle: Reclaiming the Wasteland of the Adolescent Years of Schooling (Adolescent Cultures, School, and Society)

There is a profound and deepening crisis afflicting secondary schools in most parts of the world – but at its essence it is a crisis of a very different kind from the one portrayed by the media, the business community, politicians, and policy makers. Just what constitutes the crisis is highly problematic. What is being constructed for us through a concerted «conservative assault» and a «new authoritarianism» is one of failure by young people, their schools, and their teachers. But as with any moral panic, there are undisclosed interests and agenda operating, and they are not those of the people most directly affected, in this case young people.
This book tackles those myths head-on. Through a multi-layered portrait analysis of young lives, adult lives, and school lives this book shows how schools, teachers, and young people are re-inventing themselves against the damaging prevailing educational policy discourses. Teachers are «in the middle» in all kinds of ways – they are a group who are continually being disparaged, pilloried, and denigrated by politicians and the media; they are caught in the shifting tectonic plates of capitalism as schools are increasingly required to do economic work; and they are continually mediating the emotional, social, and intellectual intersections between schools, society, classrooms, and young lives. Teachers in the Middle provides a critique as well as hope and possibility as schools engage pedagogically with the maelstrom in which they find themselves.

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About the Author:

The Authors: John Smyth is Professorial Fellow at University of Ballarat, and Adjunct Professor at Charles Darwin University, Australia. He recently held the Roy F. & Joann Cole Mitte Endowed Chair in School Improvement at Texas State University-San Marcos, where he is currently an adjunct graduate professor. He is the author/editor of fifteen books and many articles, and his most recent book (with Hattam and others) is ‘Dropping Out’, Drifting Off, Being Excluded: Becoming Somebody Without School (Peter Lang, 2004).
Peter McInerney is Research Associate at University of Ballarat, and a former high school teacher. His recent book is Making Hope Practical; School Reform for Social Justice (2004).

Review:

«‘Teachers in the Middle’ is an enormously important book, one of a relative few that takes us beyond the often trivialized treatment of young adolescents and their schools. In its place we see the possibility of democratic middle schooling complete with student voice, collaborative relationships, intellectually challenging and meaningful curriculum, and much more. Set in Australia, «‘Teachers in the Middle’ speaks to policies, politics, and practice in middle schooling everywhere.» (James Beane, National College of Education, National-Louis University, Illinois)
«With his usual scholarly insight, John Smyth illustrates along with his collaborator Peter McInerney, the intellectual failure of neo-conservative assumptions about youth and their schooling while concurrently providing readers with compelling alternatives to such bankrupt pedagogical practices. An intellectually savvy and practical must read for those concerned with middle school education.» (Joe Kincheloe, McGill University, Montreal)
«Reminiscent of progressive writings of the 1930s and 1940s when efforts to bring about more humane schools held sway, this serious work is scholarly and readable. It offers a needed, fresh, and counter perspective on the problem of educating adolescents in today’s world. The inclusion of many poignant and pithy comments and scenarios made by students and teachers give this thought-provoking work an engaging richness and relevance.» (John Lounsbury, Emeritus Professor, Georgia College and State University)

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Book Description Peter Lang Publishing Inc, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. There is a profound and deepening crisis afflicting secondary schools in most parts of the world - but at its essence it is a crisis of a very different kind from the one portrayed by the media, the business community, politicians, and policy makers. Just what constitutes the crisis is highly problematic. What is being constructed for us through a concerted conservative assault and a new authoritarianism is one of failure by young people, their schools, and their teachers. But as with any moral panic, there are undisclosed interests and agenda operating, and they are not those of the people most directly affected, in this case young people. This book tackles those myths head-on. Through a multi-layered portrait analysis of young lives, adult lives, and school lives this book shows how schools, teachers, and young people are re-inventing themselves against the damaging prevailing educational policy discourses. Teachers are in the middle in all kinds of ways - they are a group who are continually being disparaged, pilloried, and denigrated by politicians and the media; they are caught in the shifting tectonic plates of capitalism as schools are increasingly required to do economic work; and they are continually mediating the emotional, social, and intellectual intersections between schools, society, classrooms, and young lives. Teachers in the Middle provides a critique as well as hope and possibility as schools engage pedagogically with the maelstrom in which they find themselves. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780820474595

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Book Description Peter Lang Publishing Inc, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. There is a profound and deepening crisis afflicting secondary schools in most parts of the world - but at its essence it is a crisis of a very different kind from the one portrayed by the media, the business community, politicians, and policy makers. Just what constitutes the crisis is highly problematic. What is being constructed for us through a concerted conservative assault and a new authoritarianism is one of failure by young people, their schools, and their teachers. But as with any moral panic, there are undisclosed interests and agenda operating, and they are not those of the people most directly affected, in this case young people. This book tackles those myths head-on. Through a multi-layered portrait analysis of young lives, adult lives, and school lives this book shows how schools, teachers, and young people are re-inventing themselves against the damaging prevailing educational policy discourses. Teachers are in the middle in all kinds of ways - they are a group who are continually being disparaged, pilloried, and denigrated by politicians and the media; they are caught in the shifting tectonic plates of capitalism as schools are increasingly required to do economic work; and they are continually mediating the emotional, social, and intellectual intersections between schools, society, classrooms, and young lives. Teachers in the Middle provides a critique as well as hope and possibility as schools engage pedagogically with the maelstrom in which they find themselves. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780820474595

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