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·         Pre-service training for aspiring urban teachers, such as that Montclair State provides in its Urban Teaching Academy, has been proven to enhance teacher-effectiveness. 

o       See, e.g., Lynda Tredway, “The Art of Juggling: Preparing Preservice Teachers for Urban Schools,” The Journal of Negro Education, 68, 3 (Summer, 1999), 382-396.


·         Ad-hoc professional communities that organize peer coaching, mentoring, and an equitable division of the work load have been shown to improve teacher effectiveness in urban schools.

o       McLaughlin, Milbrey W. and Joan E. Talbert, Professional Communities and the Work of Teaching High School (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001). 


·         Urban students read a lot … just not what you might expect.  Knowing what students do read will help a teacher make lessons relevant and interesting.

o       Hughes-Hassell, Sandra and Pradnya Rodge, “The Leisure Reading Habits of Urban Adolescents,” Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 51, 1 (September, 2007), 22-34.


·         Do state takeovers of urban schools improve them?  There is much polemic on either side of the debate but little hard evidence yet.  Suggestions about the kinds of data that would break the logjam.

o       Green, Robert L. and Bradley R. Carl, “A Reform for Troubled Times: Takeovers of Urban Schools,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 569 (May, 2000), 56-70.


·         Islam is the fastest-growing religion in urban America.  Many urban teachers want practical information about issues like praying in school, veiling (especially in light of the movement toward school uniforms), and what may and may not be taught about religion in public schools.  Straightforward answers to these and related questions can be found at:

o       U.S. Department of Education, “Religious Expression in Public Schools,”

o       Haynes, Charles, “Religious Liberty in Public Schools,” First Amendment Center,

o       Anti-Defamation League, “Religion in the Public Schools (2004),


Calderon, Margarita. “Staff Development in Multilingual Multicultural Schools. World of Education Library. July 1997 May 22, 2008

The article describes the increase in multiracial and multicultural students in classrooms, while the majority of teachers remain white; it also states that teachers should learn how to deal with these students in order to foster a healthy environment. It explains the gap and lack of understanding that has emerged between bilingual and mainstream teachers; the lack of assistance in the development of a better program for bilingual teachers and their accountability in bilingual student’s education. Most importantly it discusses the needs of bilingual teachers, their knowledge, and change in methods and pedagogy that would be needed for improvement.


Desimone, Laura. “The Role of Teachers in Urban School Reform.” World of Education Library. July 2000 May 22, 2008

This article speaks of the need for a CSR (complete school wide reform) to change both teaching and learning; one that should have the participation of teachers for its selection, development, and evaluation as well as implementation. It also refers to the time that is needed for effective planning and development of curriculum and lessons; mentioning the success of teachers who are provided with more time versus those that struggle with the time they have.


Schwartz, Wendy. “Family Diversity In Urban Schools.” World of Education Library. September 1999 May 22, 2008

This article described the differences in students’ homes, which are no longer the traditional models. Children’s families may consist of only one parent, divorced parents, same sex parents; children may be in foster care or living with a grandparent or other member of the family and may come from multiracial backgrounds. Its main purpose is to educate teachers to be considerate and attentive in addressing student’s homes; rather than the traditional “father” and “mother” denominations. Additionally it is important for the teacher to acknowledge the family’s or caregivers wishes whether that home can become public knowledge or not.


Weiler, Jeanne. “Girls and Violence.” World of Education Library.  May 1999 May 22, 2008   

This article cited examples of girls’ violent acts, distinguished them from the typical acts committed by boys and commented on the increase in violence among girls as well as an increase in arrests and punishments for these crimes. The article proposes a correlation between violent women and their troubled home environment; as well as one between girls who come from different ethnicities, races, and lower income backgrounds. One finding that I was not aware and that was cited was the possible correlation between girl’s lower achievement in school and their tendency to violence as opposite to boy’s behavior, where higher grades lead them towards “acting out.” The article ends with a brief description of programs that aid girl’s tendencies towards violence.


Schwartz, Wendy. “The Schooling of Multiracial Students.” World of Education Library. November 1998 May 22, 2008

This article centered on the definition of what is considered “multiracial” and what educators can do to make their subject matter to multiracial students. It begins by mentioning the increase in the number of “multiracial” students and families in the US and indicating that the term multiracial will be used to define “individuals of mixed racial, ethnic, or cultural ancestry whose lives reflect multiple heritages.”


 Jones, Marge. "Bio-English." Active Learner: a Foxfire Journal for Teachers 1 (1996). 22 May 2008. 

Bio-English describes a successful experimental elective offered at Theodore Roosevelt High School in the Bronx. The elective course marries topics in biological science with writing, aiming to improve the students’ science vocabulary and grammar skills.


Moriarity, Janice, Kim Pavelonis, Deborah Pellouchoud, and Jeanne Wilson. "Increasing Student Motivation Through the Use of Instructional Strategies." ERIC (2001). ERIC. 27 May 2008. 

The article reported on strategies that were used to increase student participation and interest in an urban school in the Midwest.  The authors implemented interdisciplinary activities to increase student interest, cooperative learning to prompt participation and peer interaction, and activities that fostered goal setting and self-reflection.  The research indicated that the experimental curricular changes improved student participation, student and parent attitudes towards learning, and greater academic success.  The authors of the text performed the research as part of Masters in Teaching requirement in a field-based masters program in Saint Xavier University in Chicago, Illinois.


Antrop-Gonzalez, R. (2006).  Toward the school as sanctuary concept in multicultural urban education:  Implications for small high school reform.  Curriculum Inquiry 36(3), 273-301.

This article discusses the school as sanctuary concept and outlines both the characteristics of this designation as well as the impetuses for it.  Additionally, the article posits how the school as sanctuary model might have greater implications for urban school reform.  This article should be important because it offers a version of urban schooling that is different from the norm but no less stable.  The article might be limiting, however, because it focuses on small urban high schools.  As such, its findings might not be applicable to large schools.

Barr, J., Sadovnik, A., and Visconti, L. (2006).  Charter schools and urban education improvement:  A comparison of Newark’s district and charter schools.  Urban Review 38(4), 291-311.

This article assesses the standard belief that charter schools in urban areas are better than district public schools.  The authors argue that charter schools in urban settings are actually similar to public schools, exhibiting both good and bad characteristics.  Additionally, the authors suggest that further research needs to be done to figure out what makes some charter schools succeed while others do not.  The myths dispelled by this article would be important for any urban educator to know because there is little room for assumptions in serious academic thought; however, the criteria from which the authors reach their conclusion must be considered and could be a limiting factor to the usefulness of the article.

Kupperman, J. and Fishman, B. (2001/2002).  Academic, social, and personal uses of the Internet:  Cases of students from an urban Latino classroom.  Journal of Research on Technology in Education 34(2), 189-215.

This article attempts to understand how families not considered part of the middle class use the Internet.  Kupperman and Fishman focused their study on three students from Detroit who gained access to the Internet through a public school technology project.  It is important to understand that despite the constant emphasis on technology in education, students in urban settings might not have sufficient access to things like the Internet, or, if they do, they might use it in different ways than their suburban counterparts.  This article should prove useful to urban educators seeking to both understand and lessen the digital divide.

Song, K. and Catapano, S. (2006).  Improving literacy skills with urban children in U.S.A. International Journal of Learning 13(3), 111-118.

This article discusses the work of preservice teachers who worked individually with urban children lacking adequate literacy skills.  Through a variety of personalized methods, the preservice teachers were able to improve the reading skills of the children.  The narrow scope of the study—its use of one-on-one instruction—should provide practical methods that urban educators can use to improve the literacy of their struggling students.

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