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Letters to a Young Teacherby Jonathan Kozol
Synopses & Reviews
In these affectionate letters to Francesca, a first grade teacher at an inner-city school in Boston, Jonathan Kozol vividly describes his repeated visits to her classroom while, under Francesca's likably irreverent questioning, also revealing his own most personal stories of the years that he has spent in public schools.
Letters to a Young Teacher reignites a number of the controversial issues that Kozol has powerfully addressed in recent years: the mania of high-stakes testing that turns many classrooms into test-prep factories where spontaneity and critical intelligence are no longer valued, the invasion of our public schools by predatory private corporations, and the inequalities of urban schools that are once again almost as segregated as they were a century ago.
But most of all, these letters are rich with the happiness of teaching children, the curiosity and jubilant excitement children bring into the classroom at an early age, and their ability to overcome their insecurities when they are in the hands of an adoring and hard-working teacher.
"Kozol provides another tract on the politics of education, slightly disguised as an ongoing (albeit one-way) dialogue with a young teacher named Francesca from Boston. Each letter provides long, extensive discussions about public education as well as the specifics of Francesca's classroom and his own classes in the past. Drawing upon a lifetime of experience and research, Kozol addresses a wide range of issues, including standardized testing, voucher programs, school segregation, student creativity, objective outcomes and recess. Drummond performs the role of doting and inspiring senior quite well. His elderly voice brims with hope and concern for the next generation of teachers and the battles they will have to face inside and outside the classroom. However, the sound editing for this audiobook is particularly poor, with Drummond's voice shifting abruptly every couple of tracks. Drummond's voice sounds audibly different on these rerecorded tracks, which significantly disrupts the listener's experience. Simultaneous release with the Crown hardcover (Reviews, June 4)." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
These affectionate letters to Francesca, a first grade teacher at an inner-city school in Boston, are rich with the happiness of teaching children, the curiosity and jubilant excitement children bring into the classroom at an early age, and their ability to overcome their insecurities when they are in the hands of an adoring and hard-working teacher.
About the Author
Jonathon Kozol has been awarded the National Book Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. His previous books include Amazing Grace and Savage Inequalities. He lives in Byfield, Massachusetts.
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