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American Educator
Winter 1987


Table of Contents

Creating a Thought-Provoking Curriculum
Lessons from Whodunits and Others
By Grant Wiggins

If we want students to think, we have to give them a curriculum that's as thought provoking as a murder mystery. Not only that, we have to put them to work. So says the research director of the Coalition of Essential Schools.

A Report from the Field
The Coalition of Essential Schools
By Linda Chion-Kenney

Among the nation's most exciting efforts to transform how we run our schools are the bottom-up reforms being pioneered by educators with the Coalition of Essential Schools. Here, a report on how three schools are interpreting the Coalition's guiding principles.

The View from the Coalition Classroom
By Wendy Aronoff and Miriam Toloudis

Two teachers from Providence, Rhode Island, tell how they have reformed their school to better meet the needs of their students.

Closing the Divide
What Teachers and Administrators Can Do to Help Black Students Reach Their Reading Potential
By Robert Dreeben

A sociologist shows that teachers and administrators can have an enormous impact—either good or bad—on the reading achievement of black first graders. In this hopeful article, Robert Dreeben outlines the policies and practices that can help close the racial learning gap.

Star-Spangled Bathtub Toys ...
And Other Ingenious Inventions
By Karin Chenoweth

Little inventors, aged kindergarten to fourteen, make it clear that American ingenuity is alive and well.

Content Counts
By Paul Gagnon

In this review of Cultural Literacy and What Do Our 17-Year-Olds Know? Paul Gagnon says that a consensus—or almost one—is forming around the main ideas set forth in these books.

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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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