The Changing Urban School
Published December 8th 2011 by Routledge – 260 pages
The author takes a long look at what goes on in schools, and the roles played by people specifically concerned with them: but finally the problems of the school are seen as indissolubly bound up with the changes that have overtaken urban life. The school cannot be isolated, teachers, administrators, planners and parents must actively co-operate in making the school work in society and a society which works for the school. Nothing other than such a total vision, he concludes, will enable us to achieve normal educational goals.
Robert Thornbury writes out of fifteen years experience of the urban school and of the problems not only of Britain but also those sometime similar, often more acute, of other countries, in particular the United States and Australia. The need for a total urban strategy is worldwide. His point of view is broad-based but his sympathies lie most of all with the hard-working teacher who stayed on in the urban classroom. It is a book for teachers therefore, but also, by its own argument, for all concerned with the future of the inner-city and the reordering of education.
Acknowledgements – Introduction – 1. Classroom crisis and teacher stress – 2. The EPA myth– 3. Two housing nations – 4. Multi-ethnic muddle – 5. Juggling children and catchments – 6. The day the roof fell in – 7. The caretaker has the keys – 8. Management by mafia or creative bureaucracy – 9. The Curriculum Church – 10. The Cargo-cult and innovation – 11. Teaching English: a curriculum case study – 12. Electric, plastic classrooms – 13. Counter-reformation with Inquisition – 14. Children’s rights and counsellors – 15. Social mix for urban classrooms – 16. Community schools and teachers – Glossary – Bibliography – Index