Publication Date: September 7, 2001
Series: Language and Literacy Series
This groundbreaking study of an innovative charter school is the first to look closely at adolescent identity by analyzing the language of narratives told in school. The author helps us to understand why adolescents sometimes make choices that seem incomprehensible to the adults who work with them. This unique book links issues of school reform to a close analysis of language and interaction within a school to help us understand the needs and desires of some of today’s diverse adolescent students. Both compelling and illuminating, this important book is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the human effects (and not just the resultant test scores) of school reform.
Betsy Rymes is assistant professor in the Department of Language Education at the University of Georgia.
"This gracefully written book works wide territory—from issues of discourse and identity to school reform—and lays open for us the complex intersection of language, aspiration, social ties, and institutional life."
—Mike Rose, UCLA, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and author of Possible Lives: The Promise of Public Education in America
"This engaging and accessible account draws the reader into the amazing and intertwined stories of a truly innovative, alternative school and the remarkable students it served."
—Nancy H. Hornberger, University of Pennsylvania
"Rymes focuses on one charter school’s attempt to provide education in a situation of chronic social inequality, and she draws concepts and methods from discourse analysis and linguistic anthropology to provide a sharp picture of how language, narrative and naming constitute the precarious social and institutional relationships involved in this endeavor."
—Ben Rampton, King’s College, London