Foreword by: Ann Lieberman
Publication Date: July 2, 2015
Depicted variously as heroes, villains, or victims, America’s teachers find themselves at the center of a sometimes nasty policy debate. Yet, while politicians, reformers, and pundits contribute to the cacophony that serves as our national conversation about education, those who teach our children everyday are barely heard over the noise. This beautifully written book highlights working teachers speaking on many key educational problems under debate as well as many of the controversial solutions put forth, including revamped teacher evaluations, curricular standardization, and increased testing and data collection. Anthropologist Catherine Lutz and high school teacher Anne Lutz Fernandez traveled the country to meet a wide range of educators on the frontlines of teaching across diverse contexts—from traditional public schools to charters to the home school; early in careers and near retirement; in city, town, suburb, and country. What they learned about teaching and learning provides critical insights not just for educators but for anyone interested in American education.
Anne Lutz Fernandez has been teaching English in Connecticut public middle and high schools for 15 years. Catherine Lutz is the Thomas J. Watson Jr. Family Professor at Brown University and past president of the American Ethnological Society.
"This book makes an important case for defying the standardization that passes for school reform. We learn, first-hand, what it means to teach today in a changing social, cultural, and political environment."
—From the Foreword by Ann Lieberman, Senior Scholar at Stanford University
“Schooled is a fascinating journey into the lives of nine American teachers--all different but tied together by the dedication, passion, and hope to change young people’s lives. Anyone interested in the diverse world of education should read this book. Everyone who thinks that teaching is so easy or that anyone can do it must read this book. As they say, teaching is not rocket science, it’s more complicated than that.” – Pasi Sahlberg, author of Finnish Lessons 2.0: What can the world learn from educational change in Finland?
"In Schooled, high school teacher Anne Lutz Fernandez and sociocultural anthropologist Catherine Lutz introduce us to devoted teachers whose luminous commitment to the intellectual, social, political, and emotional development of children and youth, despite increasingly difficult work conditions, gives us reason for hope. By showing us that “the ordinary work of teaching is extraordinary,” the authors reveal the disconnect between teachers’ arduous, intellectual daily work and the cascade of recent educational reforms--including the standards movement, standardized testing, mainstreaming, increased class size, scripted lessons, magnet schools, charter schools, and homeschooling—that claim to improve schooling. Schooled pays tribute to passionate, informed educators, but directly challenges the reforms now being forced upon them. The book is an electrifying and inspiring must read for teachers and everyone concerned with the fate of our schools."
—Lesley Bartlett, Associate Professor, Educational Policy Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
"This well-written book by Lutz Fernandez and Lutz fills an important gap in understanding teachers' work in a climate of test-based accountability. By integrating two strands of perspectives, namely field-based practice and cultural anthropology, the authors illuminate the voices of nine teachers navigating their 'extraordinary' practices in their own setting. This book will rapidly become required reading not only among educators but also among education policy reformers. Clearly, lessons learned from these contextually rich case studies will inform our current policy debate on charting the steps in supporting the teaching profession."
—Kenneth K. Wong, Chair, education department, Brown University
2016 Society of Professors of Education Outstanding Book Award