THE REAL TEACHERS by Philip Sterling


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A group of interviews with big-city schoolteachers, black and white, young, generally highly dedicated, mostly disposed toward Kohl-Kozolian warmth and openness. Some of the schools are collapsing, as in Boston; some, like John W. Raper in Cleveland and the I.S. 201 complex are presented as revitalized centers. Many of the teachers believe that ""love is not enough,"" and discuss their serious efforts to really teach something. Unfortunately, the interviewer's stress is on race relations, black pride, relations between black and white teachers, and the like, to the point of de-emphasizing questions of curricula and the ultimate destinies of the students. Teaching methods are discussed in an excessively abstract way -- for example, the behaviorist, rote-learning programs being introduced in Ocean Hill-Brownsville. In the hands of a vital teacher, Sterling suggests, these programs can be productive; but some of the teachers feel something is missing. Altogether the teachers are an appealing bunch, but the impression remains that the interviewing might have been sharper and broader.

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 1972
Publisher: Random House