Annotations for Teaching Matters : Stories from Inside City Schools

Baker & Taylor
Drawing upon teachers' first-hand experiences, provides an account of what inner-city students need in order to learn and what is being done to satisfy those needs.

Book News
Falk and Blumenreich (early childhood education and childhood education, City College of New York) take readers inside 15 kindergarten and elementary classrooms in urban schools to show how teachers learn to develop their skills and abilities as they engage in inquiry about their practices. Stories are drawn from their review of about 400 studies produced by teacher-learners who participated in a two-semester course they teach on inquiry research at the City College of New York and demonstrate the process of inquiry as it leads them to learn and grow as professionals and benefits the learning of their students. They relate stories that emphasize the themes of how to be responsive to cultural and linguistic diversity, including immigrant experiences and homophobia; how to differentiate instruction, including for students with learning differences and English language learners; how to establish home/school partnerships, such as supports for early literacy; and how to address the constraints of current educational policies and mandates, with discussion of active learning, incorporating physical activity, and improving the climate for learning. No index is provided. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Perseus Publishing
As public schools become increasingly embattled by budget shortfalls, crowded buildings, and ever-more-rigid curricula, the burden of these restrictions has drastically changed the way children are expected to learn. Nowhere is this more obvious or more devastating than classrooms in high-need urban areas. Drawing upon teachers' firsthand experiences in some of today's most demanding schools, leading education experts Beverly Falk and Megan Blumenreich provide an enlightening account of what our students really need?and how teachers are stepping up to provide what state standards and political posturing cannot.

Teaching Matters takes us into a variety of classrooms to witness the art of teaching at its most creative and effective, with a focus on early childhood and elementary school. We follow educators as they strive to change systems that fail to address the needs of their students, from efforts to break the silence about homophobia in schools and multipronged strategies to build stronger relationships with immigrant families to the modification of ineffective curriculum to foster the growth of the ?whole child." By confronting many misconceptions about urban education and school reform, Falk and Blumenreich provide a crucial insider's look at some of the most challenging and relevant questions in education today.