Tangled Up in School: Politics, Space, Bodies, and Signs in the Educational Process

By Jan Nespor | Go to book overview

1 Adults at Elementary School

During my two years at Thurber Elementary School, the principal, Mr. Watts, embraced, with varying levels of passion, a host of innovations: portfolio assessment, outcomes-based education, cognitive coaching, performance assessment, business-school partnerships, business-inthe-school programs, computer simulation curricula, volunteer mentoring programs, site-based management, whole language and writing process pedagogies, cross-age grouping, the integration of special education students into regular education classrooms, and nontraditional report cards. This barrage of innovations, unique among Roanoke schools, produced a good deal of opposition from the community.

The parents of children at the school were especially critical of the novel-based curriculum, the heterogeneous grouping of students, and the nontraditional grading scale. They often asked me, as an education professor, what I thought about such things and listened politely while I explained their value. But they remained skeptical; they conceded that such practices might work in an ideal world but not in the real world of the Roanoke city schools. By 1993-1994 their skepticism had developed into the organized protest described in this chapter. A breakdown in the usual silence between parents and teachers on matters of curriculum, the dispute forced both parties to articulate fundamental assumptions about the functions of schooling, in particular about the role of the school in representing, ranking, and categorizing students.

To understand the protest we have to unravel a historical-political-pedagogical knot in which subtle, complex, deeply layered flows of practice came together. First I examine how city and school system politics created a space for attempting innovations. Then I try to make sense of the Thurber innovations by looking at Mr. Watts's educational ideas and the teachers' struggles to understand and implement the innovations. Next I put the parents' relations to the school in context by reconstructing the history of Thurber's ties to the neighborhoods from

-1-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Tangled Up in School: Politics, Space, Bodies, and Signs in the Educational Process
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Sociocultural, Political, and Historical Studies in Education ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • 1 - Adults at Elementary School 1
  • 2 - A Tangle of Cities, Corporations, and Kids 46
  • 3 - Neighborhood Intersections 84
  • 4 - Intersections of Bodies And Spaces at School 119
  • 5 - Intersections of Kids, Signs, and Popular Culture 162
  • 6 - Loose Ends 196
  • 7 - Fieldwork As an Intersection 203
  • References 239
  • Author Index 249
  • Index 251
  • Subject Index 253
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 256

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.