ERIC Number: ED450961
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001
Caught in the Middle: Nonstandard Kids and a Killing Curriculum.
This book argues that the overemphasis in school systems on all students meeting high academic standards is detrimental to meeting the needs of idiosyncratic students in unique life circumstances and with aberrant behavior. The book presents stories from one teacher's experience in teaching remedial reading to seventh and eighth graders in a junior high school in upstate New York. It introduces the reader to students who are not likely to succeed in a world with only one definition of success, creating heroic and touching portraits of young adolescents as they struggle with a standardized curriculum. Topics addressed through their portraits include the importance of education that is relevant to the lives of students, the importance of adaptability for seventh and eighth grade teachers, the mistakes teachers make in using with all students a technique that worked once with one student, the importance of knowing when and how to use various instructional methods, the practice of regularly exchanging notes with students as a way of maintaining a dialogue, teachers' struggles with bureaucracy in developing a writers' workshop for students and in other activities, dealing with students' fabrications, the importance of teachers confronting the ambiguity of not having clear landmarks of success and failure, the school district's failure to provide enough information to teachers about their students' needs, and problems in mainstreaming junior high students with disabilities. (KB)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Academic Failure, Classroom Techniques, Early Adolescents, Educational Objectives, Grade 7, Grade 8, High Risk Students, Individual Differences, Junior High School Students, Junior High Schools, Mainstreaming, Personal Narratives, Relevance (Education), Student Needs, Teacher Administrator Relationship, Teacher Expectations of Students, Teacher Student Relationship, Teaching (Occupation)
Heinemann, 88 Post Road West, P.O. Box 5007, Westport, CT 06881 ($18.50). Tel: 800-793-2154 (Toll Free); Fax: 800-847-0938 (Toll Free); e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.heinemann.com.
Publication Type: Books; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Foreword by Deborah Meier.