James herndon

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James herndon

  1. 1. James Herndon<br />Influential 1970s Education Writer<br />
  2. 2. Biography<br />James Herndon (1926-1990)<br />Influential American writer and educator<br />Leader in school reform movement<br />Best known for two books:<br />The Way it Spozed to Be<br />To Survive in Your Native Land<br />Taught in California for more than 25 years<br />President of local teacher’s union<br />
  3. 3. Position <br />Used ironic humor in accessible writing style to share his observations<br />Advocated that schools were inadequately preparing students to deal with real world<br />Didn’t agree with merit pay<br />“If you're a lion-tamer, you're not going to work any harder just because you'll be paid more.”<br />
  4. 4. Books<br />The Way It Spozed to Be (1968)<br />To Survive in Your Native Land (1971)<br />Everything As Expected (1973)<br />Sorrowless Times (1981)<br />Notes from a Schoolteacher<br />
  5. 5. The Way It Spozed to Be<br />“Ruth jumped up immediately. Don’t go bellowing at me! She yelled. You got plenty of pencils! You spozed to give ‘em all out! They ain’t your pencils! You spozed to give ‘em out! I need these pencils!”<br />Ethnographic perspective, focused chapters on individual students<br />New York Times: <br />"Here is the sad, yet funny, record of one ill-fated year in a metropolitan ghetto school, 98 per cent Negro, 99 per cent "deprived", and 100 per cent chaotic. It tells how the educational bureaucracy, the schools, and life itself in our big cities are all rigged against the students who can't take it-the ones we call "deprived." <br />
  6. 6. The Way it Spozed to Be Continued<br />"Find out what they can do and give them lots of it.“<br />Critical pedagogy+Dewey: adjust to students’ needs and abilities<br />Described the negative power of control in the school system <br />“We invent penalties for transgressors; then we must invent another set of penalties for those who won't abide by the first.”<br />“Now we spend our faculty meetings dreaming up ways to contain an enemy force.”<br />Disliked the growing importance of standardization and test scores<br />
  7. 7. Grouping and Tracking<br />The Way it Spozed to Be focused on the tracking and marginalization of minority students in segregated schools<br />“We ‘experiment’ a lot. We teach Spanish experimentally to everyone, then drop it experimentally. We experiment with slow learners, with non-achievers, with Gore programs, team teaching, with ‘innovative’ programs. These programs, being only ‘experiments,’ remain on the fringe of things; the general curriculum, not being an experiment at all, isn't affected by them.”<br /> --Epilogue, The Way it Spozed to Be<br />

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