Publication Date: August 24, 2012
This is a compelling, eye-opening portrait of two communities in Philadelphia with drastically different economic resources. Over the course of their 10-year investigation, the authors of this important new work came to understand that this disparity between affluence and poverty has created a knowledge gap—far more important than mere achievement scores—with serious implications for students’ economic prosperity and social mobility. At the heart of this knowledge gap is the limited ability of students from poor communities to develop information capital. This moving book takes you into the communities in question to meet the students and their families, and by doing so provides powerful insights into the role that literacy can play in giving low-income students a fighting chance.
Important reading for a wide audience of educators, policymakers, school reformers, and community activists, Giving Our Children a Fighting Chance:
Susan B. Neuman is a professor of Educational Studies at the University of Michigan, and has served as the U.S. Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education. Her books include Changing the Odds for Children at Risk. Visit Professor Neuman’s blog at: givingpoorkidsafightingchance.blogspot.com. Donna C. Celano is assistant professor of Communication at La Salle University in Philadelphia.
“Deeply illuminating without being overwhelming, useful for policymakers and educators alike.”
—Democracy and Education
“An excellent text for introductory courses on sociology of education and qualitative methods...offers as lucid a definition of some complex concepts as I’ve read anywhere.”
—Educational Theory and Policy
"...Neuman and Celano should be applauded for the painstaking data they collected over several years that adds a new dimension to understanding the problems that plague low-income communities"
—The Journal of Negro Education
“This is one of the most comprehensive analyses to date of community literacy, documenting the transformation of media habits from books to computers.”
—Linda B. Gambrell, Distinguished Professor of Education, Clemson University
“This book should be required reading, not just for those in the education and policy fields, but for anyone who cares about the lives of children and the health of our society.”
—Kyle Zimmer, President and CEO, First Book
“‘By walking the streets, riding the buses, and taking the subways,’ Celano and Neuman give us a groundbreaking and sobering look at print and education technology resources in two neighborhoods, one wealthy and one poor. The result is a must-read eye-opener for anyone who cares about equal opportunity. The stuff of learning is essential but insufficient. Only with close teacher, parent, and student-to-student coaching can better print and technology resources make a difference."
—Eugenia Kemble, Executive Director, Albert Shanker Institute