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American Educator
Summer 1989


Table of Contents

Public School Choice: Can We Find the Right Balance?
By Bella Rosenberg

Public school choice is probably the hottest issue in education today. But the strong claims made by both advocates and opponents have often obscured the complexities, dilemmas, and tradeoffs involved. If diversity and choice become ends in themselves, if choice is not coupled with fundamental reform and the continuing quest for common excellence, the author concludes, the "choice" offered may be empty ones.

Whatever Happened to Team Teaching?
By Barbara McKenna

A new form of team teaching—more accurately described as teamwork—has emerged as an important part of the middle school concept. Small, interdisciplinary teams of teachers meet regularly to coordinate procedures and to share information and ideas about their teaching and about each of their common students—all in an effort to help ensure the academic success of each child.

Rousing Schools to Life
By Ronald G. Tharp and Ronald Gallimore

The "recitation script"—an assigned text or lecture followed by teacher questioning to determine whether the students have mastered the material—has been the predominant mode of instruction in American classrooms for more than one hundred years. It represents a profound misunderstanding of how intellectual growth takes place, say the authors, who call for schools to be reorganized to allow a new definition of teaching.

Children Who Labor
The Tragedy of Child Workers around the World
By Charles D. Gray and Robert A. Senser

In India, children younger than fourteen are responsible for tossing and catching sticks of molten glass. In China, they work fourteen-hour shifts making toys for export. In Thailand, they are leased into a form of indentured servitude. The authors describe the tragedy of child labor and the lack of international attention being paid to it.

Child Labor in the U.S.: Its Growth and Abolition
By Todd Postol

Schedules That Bind
By Kathleen Cushman

The six- or seven-period day, the forty- or fifty-minute period, the same number of students in each class: These are the fixtures of our school schedules. But do they really make sense? Are there more educationally sound alternatives?

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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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