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Jenny's Story: Taking the Long View of the Child, Prospect's Philosophy in Action

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Overview

By carefully documenting how space was made for Jenny—a child who didn't fit the school mold—this book offers a renewed sense of human possibility and an attainable vision of what schools can be. The authors demonstrate that it is only by attending to each and every child that schooling can begin to achieve its most noble aim: equality. Readers are introduced to Prospect's educational philosophy and descriptive processes, with details about what the processes are and what they offer teachers, parents, and children. Jenny's story, is told through these processes—ways of looking at children and their work that make it possible to know each child as a person, a thinker, and a learner. While Jenny's journey through elementary school is the heart of the book, this is also the story of a big urban school serving many immigrant families. Jenny's Story offers readers a compelling look at:

How teachers, staff, and the principal successfully worked with a richly diverse community.

What it means to ground teaching in knowledge of the particular, careful observation, and collective inquiry.

How to challenge school policies and mandates that work against children's well-being and dignity.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807750520
  • Publisher: Teachers College Press
  • Publication date: 11/27/2009
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Table of Contents

Dedication ix

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction Margaret Himley 1

What Is Prospect? 1

Who Is Jenny Williams? 4

Overview of This Book 6

Call to Action 7

Part I Telling Jenny's Story: The Dignity and Well-Being of the Child

1 Meeting Jenny: Rethinking Schooling Patricia F. Carini Cecilia Espinosa 11

Preparing for the Spanning Study 11

W. T. Machan School(1993-1999) 14

Frame and Plan for the Spanning Study 19

Scenes from the First Spanning Study of Jenny (1996) 19

Jarring Perception 1 The Politics of Attention Patricia F. Carini 35

2 Meeting Jenny Again: Reimagining Ourselves as Teachers Patricia F. Carini 39

Scenes from the Second Spanning Study of Jenny (1997) 41

Encountering Jenny/Encountering Ourselves 52

Jarring Perception 2 The Power of the Particular Patricia F. Carini 58

3 Taking the Long View of the Child: Trusting the Person as Maker of Meaning Patricia F. Carini 64

The Transition Year (1997-1998) Tisa Williams 64

Scenes from the Third Spanning Study of Jenny (1999): Looking Back and Beyond 65

Postscript on Sixth Grade Tisa Williams 72

Jarring Perception 3 Body in Motion Patricia F. Carini 74

4 Describing Jenny's Writings and Drawings: Authoring Works/Authoring Self (2006) Patricia F. Carini 78

Describing Children's Works: A Process 79

Scenes from the Descriptive Review of Jenny's Works (2006) 80

Part II Imagination Unloosed: History, Memory, Conviction, and Courage

5 History, Vision, Struggle: The Vermont Design for Education Patricia F. Carini 97

An Era of Change: The Vermont Design for Education 98

An Upstart Era 101

Past Present 104

Imagination Unloosed 206

6 Memory: Making and Remaking Ourselves as Teachers Cecilia Espinosa 108

Learning in School 108

Learning in the World 110

The Poetry of Teaching 111

Working with Beginning Teachers and Their Burning Questions 115

7 Conviction: The Teacher I Want to Be Julia Fournier 120

Coming of Age 120

What Has Been Lost 121

Telling Stories as Acts of Resistance 122

Confronting Conviction 127

8 Courage and Trust: Acting on Behalf of All Children Carol Christine 129

Teachers Matter 130

Vision and Values 132

Acts of Resistance 133

The Power of Collaboration: “Sheer Energy” 134

The Courage to Continue 138

Part III Moving Forward: Refusing Conformity/Creating Possibility

9 Poiesis: Life on the Uptake Margaret Himley 143

Finding a Bass Line 144

Making a Difference 147

Poiesis 149

Response and Responsibility 153

10 Making and Doing Philosophy in a School Patricia F. Carini 154

Locating Philosophy in a School 154

Paying Attention to What Is 157

Philosophy in Action: The Story of a Child 159

Reading Together 162

What Is Philosophy For? 163

Note 165

Epilogue: Interview with Tisa Williams and Jenny Williams: Fall 2007 Cecilia Espinosa 167

Appendix The Vermont Design for Education 171

References 183

Index 187

About The Authors 195

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