You are here

Small Schools and Urban Youth
Share

Small Schools and Urban Youth
Using the Power of School Culture to Engage Students

Foreword by Hugh Mehan



August 2007 | 168 pages | Corwin

"Finally, educators leading the movement to smaller high schools have a resource they can draw upon for guidance and direction. This book offers clear, practical advice on how to create small schools that are effective in meeting student needs."
—Pedro Noguera, Professor
New York University

"Relevant, individualized, and an insightful read. This book will be useful for any school system working to develop small learning communities."
—Nancy Betler, Teacher Mentor
Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, NC

Learn about big educational results in smaller schools!

Educators are increasingly turning to small learning communities, which have proven to be highly effective in facilitating academic engagement and achievement, particularly among low-income urban students. This in-depth sociological study reveals the unique aspects of this movement and:

  • Examines the structural and cultural features of small learning communities and small schools in two major urban cities
  • Highlights students' perspectives on school culture, personalization, and student involvement
  • Offers timely suggestions to benefit students at all levels and in every educational setting

Based on original research, this text offers school leaders and policy makers a deeper understanding of the broad, positive impact of small school reform.


 
Foreword by Hugh “Bud” Mehan
 
Preface
Purpose of the Book  
Comparative Research Design  
Organization of the Book  
Who This Book Is for  
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
1. Digging Beneath the Layers of School Reform: Size, Culture, and Personalization
 
2. California Career Academies: How Structure and Culture Create Optimism Among Low-Income Urban Youth
 
3. Structuring Competition and Teamwork: Reproducing the Status Quo and Challenging Inequality Side-by-Side
 
4. The Case of Boston: How "Small" Schools Forge Academic and Relational Possibilities in the Urban Context
 
5. Beneath School Structure: How School Culture Shapes Relational and Academic Engagement of Urban High School Students in Boston
 
6. Conclusion: Towards a Critical Understanding of School Culture
 
References
 
Index

"This book is critical for anyone working to change urban schools to effectively serve all students. Too often we succumb to the notion that substantive change is not possible at the high school level, but this book proves how wrong-headed that concept can be. These authors bring the voices of real teachers and real students to the table to demonstrate how small schools focused on relationship building and 'personalization' can perform miracles!"

Lisa D. Delpit, Executive Director and Eminent Scholar
Center for Urban Education and Innovation, Florida International University

"Finally, educators leading the movement to smaller high schools have a resource they can draw upon for guidance and direction. This book offers clear, practical advice on how to create small schools that are effective in meeting student needs."

Pedro Noguera, Professor
New York University

"The strengths include the book's readability. The examples are vivid and the students' quotes are powerful. The qualitative research style brings a personal feel that is effective."

Gary Peters, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Research
University of Southern Mississippi

"The book reports on an actual research project and presents numerous quotes from students to support the points being made. It provides a good model of data-driven recommendations."

Harold E. Wilson, Professor of Educational Leadership
Ashland University

"I love the themes of relationships, community, respect, personalization, and small schools."

James L. Drexler, Education Department Chair
Covenant College

"Relevant, individualized, and an insightful read. This book will be useful for any school system working to develop academies."

Nancy Betler, Teacher Mentor
Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, NC

"The need for a book on this topic is urgent, and the contributions from the volume are significant. The writing is excellent, the data is engaging, and the conceptualization is insightful, individualistic, and challenging."

Lila Jacobs, Professor and Coordinator
Urban Leadership Program, California State University, Sacramento

“This book will be a very helpful and needed addition to the research that clearly establishes how large numbers of our students, particularly big-city students, are being systematically lost because of the size and purposelessness of the schools that they are forced to attend. Relationships are critical, and small schools have shown themselves to be most attentive to and proficient at using small size to personalize educational experiences for urban youth.”

Rodney Muth, Professor
University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center

"An excellent survey of the cultural and structural features of small schools in two major urban cities. This narrowed focus allows for an analysis of school culture and student involvement on a macroscopic level, creating a fine sociological investigation suitable for both education and sociology libraries."

The Bookwatch, March 2008
Midwest Book Review

"It is the voice of students in two separate urban centers, Oakland and Boston, that make the book unique. Here, the authors allow students to speak for themselves, and there is honesty in their words that makes the reality surrounding urban school reform resonate in a way that quantitative studies cannot. For anyone wishing a clear and concise introduction to the issues surrounding the restructuring of large urban schools into smaller learning centers, this book is a good place to begin."

CHOICE Magazine, June 2008, Vol. 45(10)
American Library Association
Key features
  • Full of student voices
  • Coverage of small learning community design features
  • Strategies for school reformers on how to adopt characteristics of small learning communities in their own efforts

Preview this book

Purchasing options

Volume Discounts Available

contact corwin

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781412939348
$27.95

For instructors