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ERIC Number: EJ787161
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Jan
Pages: 13
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-0018-1498
High School English: A National Portrait
Gamoran, Adam; Carbonaro, William J.
High School Journal, v86 n2 p1-13 Dec 2002-Jan 2003
What sorts of instruction do students experience in high school English? Most research findings rely on small-scale, localized contexts. The purpose of this study is to provide a national portrait of high school English by documenting its overall quality on several dimensions that are theoretically important. In addition, the study examines individual and structural sources of inequality in the types of English instruction that occur in different types of classes and to which different types of students are exposed. Nystrand's (1997) and Applebee's (1996) conceptual frameworks were used to identify four essential aspects of classroom instruction in English: quantity, coherence, student voice, and content. Data from teachers and students in the 1990 wave of the National Educational Longitudinal Survey provide evidence. The results show that most students do not receive English instruction that meets the standards suggested by these authors. This finding comes from reports by teachers as well as students. There is also evidence of unequal access to high quality instruction: students in honors classes have greater access to high quality instruction, and students in general-track classes have the least access on several indicators. The study provides a useful baseline for understanding how far we have to go in the reform of high school English. (Contains 1 table, 4 figures, and 4 endnotes.)
University of North Carolina Press. 116 South Boundary Street, P.O. Box 2288, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2288. Tel: 800-848-6224; Tel: 919-966-7449; Fax: 919-962-2704; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 10; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A