ERIC Number: ED283133
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987
Reference Count: N/A
The Politics of Reading: Power, Opportunity, and Prospects for Change in America's Public Schools.
Fraatz, Jo Michelle Beld
The result of case study interviews with teachers, administrators, and reading specialists, this book argues that the relationships of power and influence between people in schools affect dramatically the kinds of opportunities available to low-income children learning to read. In addition, this book offers suggestions for reforms based on an understanding of the way schools actually deliver services and operating power relationships. Following a foreword by S. Sarason that stresses the book's importance for educators and an introduction describing the book's point of view, the book is divided into seven chapters. Chapter 1 introduces the conceptual framework used to describe and analyze "power" and "opportunity" as school people understand and experience them. Chapter 2 analyzes the classroom setting, describing the social and instructional demands teachers must try to meet, the strategies they use to cope with the paradoxes and uncertainties that characterize their tasks, and the consequences of these strategies for equality of opportunity. Chapter 3 examines the sometimes self-defeating effect of the services provided by school and district reading specialists, while Chapter 4 describes the limited impact of school principals on equality of opportunity, arguing that even the contributions of "effective" principals are constrained by the essentially autonomous choices of classroom teachers. Chapter 5 probes how the home-school connection serves to reinforce existing inequities, while Chapter 6 looks at the politics of "downtown," showing how the district official's search for legitimacy with subordinates supports the school's mobilization of bias and, consequently, precludes attention to problems of inequality. Finally, Chapter 7 summarizes and suggests implications of the findings. An appendix describing procedures used in collecting and analyzing the data, a bibliography, and an index are included. (SKC)
Descriptors: Administrator Role, Administrators, Beginning Reading, Educational Opportunities, Educationally Disadvantaged, Elementary Education, Equal Education, Grouping (Instructional Purposes), Parent Role, Parent School Relationship, Parent Teacher Cooperation, Politics of Education, Power Structure, Principals, Reading Instruction, Reading Programs, Reading Research, Reading Skills, Reading Teachers, Superintendents, Teacher Administrator Relationship, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Characteristics, Teacher Role, Teacher Student Relationship, Teaching Methods
Teachers College Press, 1234 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY 10027 ($17.95, paperback--ISBN-0-8077-2857-8; $29.95, hardback--ISBN-0-8077-2858-6).
Publication Type: Books
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Foreword by Seymour B. Sarason.