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The story of life in inner-city America and the education of its people is often recounted as a tragedy; the ending is often predictable and usually dire, highlighting deficiency, failure, and negative trends. As with most social problems, children and youth in the inner cities are hit hardest. But this dismal view is only half of the full picture. The cities of our nation are a startling juxtaposition between the despairing and the hopeful, between disorganization and restorative potential. Alongside the poverty and unemployment, the street-fights and drug deals, are a wealth of cultural, economic, educational, and social resources. Often ignored are the resilience and the ability for adaptation which help many who are seemingly confined by circumstance to struggle and succeed "in the face of the odds."
This book helps to broaden the utilization of ways to magnify the circumstances known to enhance development and education, so that the burden of adversity is reduced and opportunities are advanced for all children and youth — especially the children and youth of the inner cities who are in at-risk circumstances. The focus is on:
• raising consciousness about the opportunities available to foster resilience among children, families, and communities, and
• synthesizing the knowledge base that is central to implementing improvements which serve to better the circumstances and educational opportunities of children and families.
This volume is intended for a wide audience of readers, but particularly those who are in a position to shape public policy and deliver educational and human services.
Contents: M.C. Wang, E.W. Gordon, Preface. Part I:Understanding Resilience. A.S. Masten, Resilience in Individual Development: Successful Adaptation Despite Risk and Adversity. E.W. Gordon, L.D. Song, Variations in the Experience of Resilience. M.C. Wang, G.D. Haertel, H.J. Walberg, Educational Resilience in Inner Cities. S.S. Peng, Understanding Resilient Students: The Use of National Longitudinal Databases. L.C. Rigsby, The Americanization of Resilience: Deconstructing Research Practice. Part II:Research on Resilience: Conceptual and Methodological Considerations. D.W. Bartelt, On Resilience: Questions of Validity. J. McCord, Resilience as a Dispositional Quality: Some Methodological Points. R.D. Taylor, Risk and Resilience: Contextual Influences on the Development of African-American Adolescents. M.C. Reynolds, Special Education as a Resilience-Related Venture. Part III:Fostering Educational Resilience. L. Anderson, Effectiveness and Efficiency in Inner-City Public Schools: Charting School Resilience. H.J. Freiberg, Understanding Resilience: Implications for Inner-City Schools and Their Near and Far Communities. H.A. Liddle, Contextualizing Resiliency. D. Oxley, Organizing for Responsiveness: The Heterogeneous School Community. E.W. Gordon, M.C. Wang, Epilogue: Educational Resilience — Challenges and Prospects.