In this book S.G. Grant reports his study of how four Michigan elementary school teachers manage a range of reforms (such as new tests, textbooks, and curriculum frameworks) in three different school subjects (reading, writing, and mathematics). Two significant findings emerge from his comparison of these responses: teachers' responses vary across classrooms (even when they teach in the same school building) and also across the reforms (a teacher might embrace reforms in one subject area, but ignore proposed changes in another).
This study of teachers' responses to reading, writing, and mathematics reform and the prospects for systemic reform is part of a growing trend to look at the intersection of curriculum policy and teachers' classroom practice. It is unique in the way the author looks at teachers' responses to multiple subject matter reforms; uses those responses as part of an analysis of the recent move toward systemic reform; and employs empirical findings as a means of examining the current movement toward systemic reform.
Reforming Reading, Writing, and Mathematics is important reading for researchers, practitioners, and graduate students of educational policy, teaching and learning in reading, writing, and mathematics, and elementary education, and for policy analysts in universities, foundations, and government.
"The chapters are valuable for researchers and graduate students in education hoping to gain understanding of the theories that support connections between language use and learning, research methodologies, constructs, and issues in the area of classroom discourse."
"…provides important empirical accounts of the likely effects of policy and organization-driven reforms at the level of teaching and teachers…and illuminates several important issues related to systemic reform, subject matter teaching, elementary teaching, and teacher change, learning, and improvement….Its unique contribution is the exploration of elementary teachers attempting to respond to multiple calls for reform in several core subject areas."
Michigan State University
Contents: Preface. Part I: Teachers, Reforms, and Systemic Change. Teachers and Reforms. Michigan: A Case of Systemic Reform. Part II: Cases of Teachers, Schools, and Reforms. Prologue: The Derry School District and Donnelly-King Elementary School. Going It Alone: The Case of Bonnie Jones. A Paradox of Talk and Practice: The Case of Frank Jensen. Epilogue: Variation in Teachers' Responses to Reforms: Bonnie Jones and Frank Jensen. Prologue: The Hamilton School District, Sanford Heights Elementary School, and Sheldon Court Academic Center. The Center Holds: The Case of Marie Irwin. Seeking a Balance: The Case of Paula Goddard. Epilogue: Variation in Teachers' Responses to Reforms: Marie Irwin and Paula Goddard. Part III: Understanding Reform and Change. The Interaction of Personal, Organizational, and Policy Factors: Explaining the Variation in Teachers' Responses. If the Problem Is Systemic, Is the Solution? Considering the Prospects for Systemic Reform. Looking Ahead: The Prospects for Systemic Reform and Change in U.S. Schools. Appendix: Research Design.