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ERIC Number: ED058722
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968
Pages: 188
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Way it Spozed to Be; A Report on the Classroom War Behind the Crisis in Our Schools.
Herndon, James
The author taught for one year in a ghetto junior high school. His experiences there are the subject of this book. He refers to his black students as The Tribe. Instead of the poverty and matriarchy which are often called characteristics of black society, he found these traits most important: the desire for a surplus, rather than just enough; a willingness to insult other black students with epithets which whites use against blacks, and "The Plop Response"--a kind of terror that comes from an overwhelming sense of powerlessness. Inasmuch as traditional teaching techniques were of little help with these students, the author had to improvise as he went along, often letting the classes organize themselves and their projects. If this meant a class regularly wrote a list of popular songs on the blackboard or staged "Cinderella", at least they were writing and reading. Gradually, this method did start to produce results. When all the other classes rioted in the spring, the author's classes did not. Still, the principal discharged the author. The principal said the riots were riots against order, and that the author had never imposed order on his classes. The author contends that ghetto schools are only the most visible sign of the failure of our whole school system. (JK)
Simon and Schuster, 630 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10020 ($5.95)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: N/A