Classroom Dynamics

Kathryn M. Neckerman

in Schools Betrayed

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780226569604
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226569628 | DOI:
Classroom Dynamics

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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

Chapter.  8084 words. 

Subjects: Educational Strategies and Policy

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