Teaching Without Bells : What We Can Learn from Powerful Practice in Small Schools book cover
1st Edition

Teaching Without Bells
What We Can Learn from Powerful Practice in Small Schools

ISBN 9781594518416
Published August 30, 2010 by Routledge
224 Pages

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Book Description

Small schools have the potential to fundamentally change the conditions of teaching and learning when practitioners deliberately exploit smallness and recognize relationships as a powerful mechanism for improving student achievement. Feldman explains the dynamics of teaching in a small high school--what having fewer students in a school affords teachers, as well as the challenges for teaching that exist alongside the opportunities--based on research, teacher interviews, and the author's own experiences as a practitioner in both small and large schools. This book is for any educator or researcher who wants to better understand the kind of promising practices and professional norms that have been nurtured under conditions of smallness. Being informed about what is possible and often facilitated in small schools will enable educators to better reflect on their own practice, consider certain pedagogical strategies against the organizational characteristics of schools, and make educated career choices. Armed with this information, educators and researchers can become more focused in their advocacy efforts and more empowered to improve our public high schools whether by redesigning them into small schools or by transplanting and translating small school practices and strategies."


“Joey Feldman skillfully blends thoughtful research with the voices of practitioners, including his own as a former teacher and principal, to showcase the possibilities of personalization in our public high schools. We know that teachers do their best work when they collaborate with and learn from each other, and that students benefit from being well-known participants in a supportive community. This helpful and engaging book describes how these desirable teaching and learning conditions are enhanced when high schools—of any size—figure out how to act small. For those committed to improving our nation's high schools, this book is an important resource.”
—Linda Darling-Hammond, Stanford University

“A good school, whether large or small, must be ‘small’ enough to permit forming relations, develop logical consequences and avoid contrived institutional dynamics. Teaching Without Bells makes a powerful and compelling case for that indispensable ingredient.”
—Adam Urbanski, President of the Rochester Teachers Association and the founding director of the Teacher Union Reform Network (TURN)

*Praise for The Teacher’s Toolkit*

“Books about teaching seldom combine theory, research, practice, and inspiration, but that is precisely what The Teacher’s Toolkit series does. Seasoned educators and researchers explore the profession of teaching through social justice and efficacy. University faculty, their students, and new teachers will cherish these books, while veteran teachers will develop new insights from them.”
—Sonia Nieto, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

“This series renders complex ideas not only intelligible, but also meaningful. The authors brilliantly weave together theory and research, vision, and vivid examples. Teacher-readers will find themselves respected as intellectuals, and empowered as leaders.”
—Christine Sleeter, California State University-Monterey Bay

“When we reflect on our careers, we undoubtedly ask whether the choices we made were the best for bringing about a new society. Here is a collection of theoretically cohesive books, all of them integrating research and heart felt understanding. The books carry the polyphonic voices of the individual volumes, and most importantly, they are in sync in purpose, in passion, and in thoughtfulness about how to make our world a better place for all children.”
—María E. Torres-Guzmán, Teachers College, Columbia University

“The concerns of twenty-first-century teachers are significant, varied, and urgent. Addressing them as part of professional socialization and further professional development has never been more important. The Teacher’s Toolkit does just that. Using powerful tools of inquiry, narrative, critical reflection, and analysis, these books help new and experienced teachers to achieve balance and perspective in their professional and personal lives.”
—Susan Florio-Ruane, Michigan State University