Academic journal article The Journal of Negro Education

Star Teachers: The Ideology and Best Practices of Effective Teachers of Diverse Children and Youth in Poverty

Academic journal article The Journal of Negro Education

Star Teachers: The Ideology and Best Practices of Effective Teachers of Diverse Children and Youth in Poverty

Article excerpt

Star Teachers: The Ideology and Best Practices of Effective Teachers of Diverse Children and Youth in Poverty, by Martin Haberman. Houston: The Haberman Educational Foundation, 2005. 220 pp. $29.95, paperback.

Dr. Martin Haberman, now recognized as one of the leading scholars in urban teacher education, has once again captured the true essence of the "savage inequalities" that seem to overwhelm many of America's urban, high-poverty schools. Star Teachers: The Ideology and Best Practice of Effective Teachers of Diverse Children and Youth in Poverty, follows his nationally acclaimed book, Star Teachers of Children in Poverty (1995), and represents over four decades of research in the field.

Most people agree that there is an urgent need to improve the quality of education in America's urban districts, and the effects of not doing so are profound. Many are quick to note the intractable social hardships and debilitating conditions that urban teachers and students must confront without offering solvable strategies. Habennan offers solutions to this disparaging dilemma by providing the reader with the ideology of "star teachers," what separates them from "quitters" and "failures," and how these teachers are able to use their moral commitment to capture student's hope and desire for a better future.

The book is divided into three parts, the first of which illustrates the scope of the challenges and barriers facing teachers of diverse children in poverty. Habennan highlights how traditional education programs actually fall short in developing star teachers for our nation's high-poverty schools by providing a generic teacher education program and by assuming all teachers are capable of meeting success in this type of environment. He also proposes teacher selection as the key ingredient for urban school improvement, and that a critical "resurrection" and refraining of teacher preparation programs is needed.

Part Two of Star Teachers concentrates on the quality of instruction that characterizes many urban schools and classrooms, which Haberman refers to as the "pedagogy of poverty." According to Haberman, these ritualistic acts of teaching can have detrimental consequences on both the teacher and the student, such as teacher bum out, low-student achievement, and student resistance. Effective methodology for urban teaching is then offered with a realistic glimpse and practical application of how good teaching can transform the urban classroom. …

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