Transmission chains broke trust chains

The debates over schooling in the pandemic are best explained by a concept defined by Anthony Bryk and Barbara Schneider in their 2004 book about Chicago school reform, Trust in Schools: relational trust. As they describe in the book’s second chapter,1 relational trust is the social glue needed within the type of organization that requires […]

Walking through a mental neighborhood

Severe storms at the USF Tampa campus pushed me off campus this afternoon, and I’ve used it in part to catch up on reading, such as Joy Ann Williamson-Lott’s article “The Battle over Power, Control, and Academic Freedom at Southern Institutions of Higher Education, 1955–1965” ($$) in last November’s Journal of Southern History. It’s an important […]

What “average effect” means and does not mean

Earlier this month, Politico education reporter Stephanie Simon wrote an article on what she describes as minimal positive effects of vouchers on student achievement. Rick Hess wrote one of the more visible responses, which repeated the following from an Ed Week column last year he was a co-author on: Among voucher programs, random-assignment studies generally find modest […]

Paul Tough’s How Children Succeed

I’m partway through Paul Tough’s new book, How Children Succeed. In his first book, Whatever It Takes, most readers focused on Tough’s portrayal of the Harlem Children’s Zone. What I noticed as an historian of education was his intellectual history of the culture-of-poverty arguments–a nice long chunk I would like most graduate students in the […]

Books on college teaching: The get-in-it-and-drive list

Over on her blog, Rebecca Onion distills her tweeps’ recommendations for readings on (mostly college) teaching, and her list includes classics from McKeachie’s Teaching Tips to Bain’s What the Best College Teachers Do. I like almost everything on the list a great deal, but I would not recommend that a teaching assistant (or faculty member) […]