A Sense of Self: Listening to Homeschooled Adolescent Girls

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Boynton/Cook Publishers, 1997 - Education - 191 pages

Recent research has shown that many adolescent girls come to distrust their own perceptions, to doubt themselves, to worry about what other people want of them more than about what they want of themselves. Furthermore, this research has charged that schools discriminate against girls and that school can be harder on them, in some important ways, than it is on boys.

But listen to these girls: " I like who I am, I like what I've learned, I like what I know," says Andi. "I'm not going to let what people think influence what I'm going to be," says Gabrielle. "I know what I think and feel and I have my beliefs and don't let myself get pushed around," says Claudia.

These are the voices of homeschooled adolescent girls-girls who learn at home and in the community rather than by going to school. Susannah Sheffer, through her interviews in A Sense of Self,urges us to listen, for what they say is strikingly different from the self-perceptions of girls in school. Anyone who teaches adolescent girls will find this book fascinating.

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About the author (1997)

SUSANNAH SHEFFER is the editor of Growing Without Schooling magazine. Her previous books include A Life Worth Living: Selected Letters of John Holt, A Sense of Self: Listening to Homeschooled Adolescent Girls and Writing Because We Love To: Homeschoolers at Work. Her essays and poems have been published in several magazines and she is the editor of Heinemann's Innovators in Education series. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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