Classroom Power Relations: Understanding Student-Teacher Interaction

By Mary Phillips Manke | Go to book overview

Chapter 3
Aileen Corvo's Fifth-Grade Classroom: A Typical Language Arts Period

Ms. Corvo stands at the front of her crowded classroom, ready to begin.

"Give me your attention," she says. "That's right, your undivided attention--only on me, the Golden Girl."

Aside to Ms. Bridgestone, a student teacher, she adds, "I love that show!"

"I need your attention and I'm not waiting much longer," she tells the class. This is the beginning of a language arts period in Ms. Corvo's fifth-grade classroom.


THE COMMUNITY

Aileen Corvo's classroom was one of several fifth grades at Grove Upper Elementary School in Charter Hills. The town of about 50,000 is home to a good-sized university in a southeastern state. Its African-American and White residents live in both attractive residential areas, expensive and not-so-expensive, and areas of deteriorated homes and public housing. Most land within the city has already been developed for residential or commercial purposes, which has spread into the surrounding county. Although not one of its state's largest cities, Charter Hills functions as an urban center.


THE SCHOOL

Until the year in which I observed Aileen Corvo's classroom, Charter Hills students in kindergarten through Grade 5 had attended neighborhood

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