Publication Date: October 2, 1998
Series: Between Teacher and Text Series
Vito Perrone invites you on an inspirational journey into Leonard Covello’s classic memoir, The Heart Is the Teacher (1958). Covello’s autobiographical book is one of education’s important histories, and Perrone’s text reestablishes a crucial connection to that history. During his 45 years as a teacher and principal in the New York City Public Schools, Covello and a group of dedicated teachers, parents, and students created one of the first urban community schools—Benjamin Franklin Community High School in East Harlem—concerned not only with academic programs but with the special needs of immigrant children. By returning to Leonard Covello’s work and educational commitments, Perrone calls attention to matters of great urgency in the schools today: the “new” immigrants, intercultural education, advocacy for students and families, a curriculum of place, and the community school. Perrone’s reflective essay, reproduced with significant sections of Covello’s own text (long unavailable to the public), makes Teacher with a Heart a unique account of how one of today’s most respected voices in educational reform has been touched and changed by an extraordinary reformer from the past.
Vito Perrone is a faculty member in the Learning and Teaching Program and Director of Teacher Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is also an active member of the North Dakota Study Group.
“This is an inspiring book which shows us much about what we should and could be doing for our young people.”
Eleanor Duckworth, Harvard University
“This book is for any educator interested in tackling the complex issues confronting our multiracial and multilingual society. It is a sure-fire democratic antidote to the reactionary trends that currently dominate educational policy discussions.”
Bob Peterson, Rethinking Schools
“This book was very inspirational and deeply personal for me. It reminds us that teaching with a heart is the very essence of our work still today. This story gives us the courage to keep on struggling to make a better world for our children.”
Linda Nathan, Boston Art Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts, Boston Public Schools
“Covello’s dispositions and practices were in his time exceptional, inspiring to many educators who worked with him and to many who know him only through his writings.”
Vito Perrone, from the Preface
“Half a century as a teacher leads me to the conclusion that the battle for a better world will be won or lost in our schools.”
Leonard Covello, The Heart Is the Teacher (1958)