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American Educator
Spring 1989


Table of Contents


Writing Workshop
A Teacher Describes How She Learned to Teach So That Her Students Could Learn to Write
By Nancie Atwell

A teacher gives a frank and searching account of how she transformed her classroom from a place where she delivered English lessons and gave writing assignments to less-than-enthusiastic recipients into a place where students are busily engaged in the hard work of becoming writers.

Minorities in Mathematics
A Focus on Excellence, Not Remediation
By Allyn Jackson

Why were bright, highly motivated black college students failing or dropping out of calculus in disproportionate numbers? A determined mathematician finds some answers and established a program that gets dramatic results.

Smaller Is Better
How the House Plan Can Make Large High Schools Less Anonymous
By Diana Oxley

The evidence is now compelling: Huge secondary schools—with their bureaucracy and anonymity—are a great impediment to good education. By subdividing these schools into more intimate "houses," we can provide students with many of the benefits of smaller schools.

Educating the Two Sides of the Brain
Separating Fact from Speculation
By Sally P. Springer

Has knowledge about the brain advanced to the point where we can meaningfully talk about how to educate one side of it to enhance specific abilities? No, says the author, that evidence does not as yet exist.

Recruiting the Next Generation of Teachers
Conversations with High School Sophomores
By Barnett Berry, Christine McCormick, and Tom Buxton

Efforts to stem the teacher shortage with superficial PR or fancy incentive packages forget one thing: Students see the teaching profession up close; and, according to in-depth interviews, they don't like what they see—the lack of autonomy, the low pay, the frustrating working conditions, and the limited opportunity for advancement.

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About American Educator

American Educator is a quarterly journal of educational research and ideas published by the American Federation of Teachers. Recent articles have focused on such topics as reducing the achievement gap between poor and affluent students, heading off student discipline problems, teaching an appreciation and understanding of democracy, the benefits of a common coherent curriculum, and other issues affecting children and education here and abroad. Total circulation, as of our most recent issue, is over 900,000.

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