In this wonderfully evocative picture of an urban American high school and its successes and setbacks over the past thirty-five years, Gerald Grant works out a unique perspective on what makes a good school--one that asserts moral and intellectual authority without becoming rigidly doctrinaire or losing the precious gains in equality of opportunity that have been won at great cost.
Grant describes what happened inside Hamilton High (a real school, although its identity is
Yet this book is not just a case study. In the second half the author presents a general analysis of American education. He contrasts the world of Hamilton High with other possible worlds, including those at three schools (one public and two private) that exhibit a strong positive ethos. He looks at the way the moral and intellectual worlds have been sundered in many contemporary public schools and asks whether they can be put back together again.
The book is grounded in a creative methodology that includes research by students at Hamilton High, whom Grant trained to analyze life in their school. Later he shared this research with teachers as a means of opening a dialogue about what changes they wanted to make. Grant's analysis leads to recommendations for two essential reforms, and in an epilogue the teachers who read this hook also tell us what they make of it and offer their own conclusions. Their challenging final words will spur the thinking of educators, policymakers, scholars, parents, and all those who are concerned about our schools today. more >>