"Doing School": How We are Creating a Generation of Stressed Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students

Front Cover
Yale University Press, 2001 - Education - 212 pages
This book offers a revealing--and troubling--view of today's high school students and the ways they pursue high grades and success. Veteran teacher Denise Pope follows five highly regarded students through a school year and discovers that these young people believe getting ahead requires manipulating the system, scheming, lying, and cheating. On the one hand, they work hard in school, participate in extracurricular activities, serve their communities, earn awards and honors, and appear to uphold school values. But on the other hand, they feel that in order to get ahead they must compromise their values. In short, they "do school"--that is, they are not really engaged with learning nor can they commit to such values as integrity and community.

The words and actions of these five students--two boys and three girls from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds--underscore the frustrations of being caught in a "grade trap" that pins future success to high grades and test scores. Their stories raise critical questions that are too important for parents, educators, and community leaders to ignore. Are schools cultivating an environment that promotes intellectual curiosity, cooperation, and integrity? Or are they fostering anxiety, deception, and hostility? Do today's schools inadvertently impede the very values they claim to embrace? Is the "success" that current assessment practices measure the kind of success we want for our children?
 

What people are saying - Write a review

"Doing school": how we are creating a generation of stressed out, materialistic, and miseducated students

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In this important and timely study, Pope, a veteran teacher, curriculum expert, and lecturer at the Stanford University School of Education, offers a revealing look at the quandaries of today's high ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Welcome to Faircrest High
1
Kevin Romoni A 38 Kind of Guy
7
The Good Student
10
The Competitor
16
The Engaged Learner
22
Eve Lin Life as a High School Machine
29
Going for the Maximum
33
Survival of the Fittest
37
Roberto Morales When Values Stand in the Way
117
Diligence
123
Anxiety
129
Playing by the Rules
132
Stress
140
Fun
145
The Predicament of Doing School
149
Doing School
150

Enjoying the Process
44
Teresa Gomez I Want a Future
50
Dancing as Engagement
54
The Search for Engagement
57
Michelle Spence Keeping Curiosity Alive?
81
An Alternate Course
85
Sacrificing Academics
97
Learning by Doing What You Love
105
The Grade Trap
153
Constraints of the School System
157
We Get What We Bargain For
166
If Only Things Could Be Different
171
Epilogue
176
Notes
189
References
207
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 207 - Csikszentmihalyi, M., and Larson, R. (1984). Being adolescent: Conflict and growth in the teenage years.

About the author (2001)

Denise Pope is a lecturer at the Stanford University School of Education.

Bibliographic information