Successful Failure: The School America Builds, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Successful Failure

The School America Builds, 1st Edition

By Herne Varenne, Ray Mcdermott


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In this controversial work, Herv arenne and Ray McDermott explore education as cultural phenomenon?a construct of artifice and reality we impose upon ourselves. The authors discuss in five case studies how the American education system defines and measures success and failure, why there is polarization between suburban schools and urban schools, and what about our system leads us to focus on the negative. Their exploration focuses not on the people or the activities of the system, but on the institutions themselves: who decided what was a success or failure? How was the identification done, and with what consequences?This important and timely book is a must-read for anyone interested in educational reform, the American educational system, and the anthropology of education.

Table of Contents

* Introduction. The Makings Of Some Educational Facts * Adam, Adam, Adam, and Adam * The House of Farell and the House of Kinney: Literacies at Home * The Voice of the Choir, the Voices in the Choir * Joint Action on the Wild Side of Manhattan * Racing in Place * Education And The Making Of Cultural Facts * Education in Culture * Ways with Theoretical Words * Local Construction and Educational Facts * Conclusion: Beyond Explaining Why

About the Authors

Herve Varenne is professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Ray McDermott is professor of education at Stanford University.

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