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Schools BetrayedRoots of Failure in Inner-City Education$
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Kathryn M. Neckerman

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780226569604

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226569628.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

Classroom Dynamics

Classroom Dynamics

(p.152) Chapter Seven Classroom Dynamics
Schools Betrayed

Kathryn M. Neckerman

University of Chicago Press

This chapter focuses on the problems of authority and engagement. By the early 1960s, Kenneth Clark wrote, inner-city schools in Chicago were characterized by what teachers framed as problems of discipline, including tension and distrust between teacher and students, resistance to schoolwork, and disruption in the classroom. Not all teachers faced these problems, but by the early 1960s, they were a recurrent theme in observations of inner-city schools, and continue to be so today. The chapter, which enters the classroom, linking reports of discipline problems to the features of urban context and school policy, begins with a few simple observations about classroom life. First, learning is voluntary; it will not happen unless students choose to cooperate with the teacher. In school, learning is a group activity, which brings added challenges.

Keywords:   authority, engagement, Kenneth Clark, inner-city schools, discipline, schoolwork, tension, distrust, school policy, Chicago

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