Successful Failure: The School America Builds

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Westview Press, 1998 - Social Science - 264 pages
In this controversial work, Hervé Varenne and Ray McDermott explore education as cultural phenomenon—a construct of artifice and reality we impose upon ourselves. The authors discuss in five case studies how the American education system defines and measures success and failure, why there is polarization between suburban schools and urban schools, and what about our system leads us to focus on the negative. Their exploration focuses not on the people or the activities of the system, but on the institutions themselves: who decided what was a success or failure? How was the identification done, and with what consequences?This important and timely book is a must-read for anyone interested in educational reform, the American educational system, and the anthropology of education.

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Contents

Introduction Herve Varenne and Ray McDermott
1
Culture in Question
7
Figures
13
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

Hervé Varenne is professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Ray McDermott is professor of education at Stanford University.

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