Challenges of Urban Education

Sociological Perspectives for the Next Century

Edited by Karen A. McClafferty, Carlos Alberto Torres, and Theodore R. Mitchell

Subjects: Urban Education
Paperback : 9780791444344, 357 pages, January 2000
Hardcover : 9780791444337, 357 pages, February 2000

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Table of contents

Tables and Figures


Part I: Critical Issues in Urban Education and Challenges for the Sociology of Education

Introduction: Challenges of the New Sociology of Urban Education
Karen A. McClafferty, Carlos A. Torres and Theodore R. Mitchell

1. Power, Meaning, and Identity: Critical Sociology of Education in the United States
Michael W. Apple

2. Social Theory and Educational Research: Reframing the Quantitative-Qualitative Distinction through a Critical Theory of Methodology
Raymond A. Morrow

3. Sociology of Education and Urban Education Policy
Geoff Whitty

Part II: Empirical Perspectives on Urban Education

4. Where Neoliberal Ideology Meets Social Context: A Comparative Analysis of U. S. Charter Schools and England's Grant-Maintained Schools
Amy Stuart Wells

5. Corporations and Classrooms: A Critical Examination of the Business Agenda for Urban School Reform
Roslyn Arlin Mickelson

6. A Comparative Analysis of Existing Secondary School Discipline Policies: Implications for Improving Practice and School Safety
Pamela Fenning, James D. Wilczynski, and Marianela Parraga

7. Modeling the Effects of Changing Demography on Student Learning: Applications Designed to Change School District Practices
Anthony Gary Dworkin, Laurence A. Toenjes, Margaret K. Purser, and Ayman Sheikh-Hussin

8. Gangsta Pedagogy and Ghettoncentricity: The Hip-Hop Nation as Counterpublic Sphere
Peter McLaren

9. Battlin' Nihilism at an Urban High School: Pedagogy, Perseverance, and Hope
David Keiser

Part III: In Conclusion: Reflections on the Dilemmas of Urban Education Reform

10. Gaps, Bridges, and Buffers in the Research, Policy, and Practice of Urban Education: A Dialogue
Theodore R. Mitchell, Carlos A. Torres, and Karen A. McClafferty

11. Memoirs of Urban Education Policymakers: A Dialogue among Three Former Urban School Superintendents
Harry Handler, Sid Thompson, and Eugene Tucker with Carlos A. Torres and Karen A. McClafferty

The Contributors


Presents current research and theoretical perspectives on the challenges facing educators in U. S. urban schools.


A supplemental text with a fresh, bold edge, Challenges of Urban Education includes a range of topics from quantitative analyses of student demographics to the description and analysis of urban high school students' creative writing. The book bridges the dualisms of local and global, theory and practice, and structure and agency. It furthers the advancement of "the new sociology of education" by making connections between the social context of urban schooling and the lives of the individuals who are affected by it.

[Contributors include Michael W. Apple; Anthony Gary Dworkin; Pamela Fenning; harry Handler; David Keiser; Karen A. McClafferty; Peter McLaren; Roslyn Arlin Mickelson; Theodore R. Mitchell; Raymond A. Morrow; Marianela Parraga; Margaret K. Purser; Ayman Sheikh-Hussin; Sid Thompson; Laurence A. Toenjes; Carlos Alberto Torres; Eugene Tucker; Amy Stuart Wells; Geoff Whitty; and Jim Wilczynski. ]

At the University of California, Los Angeles, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, Karen A. McClafferty is a Doctoral Candidate, Carlos Alberto Torres is Director of the Latin American Center and Professor of Education, and Theodore R. Mitchell is Professor of Education and Vice President for Education and Strategic Initiatives, J. Paul Getty Trust. Carlos Alberto Torres is the author and editor of several books, including, with Theodore R. Mitchell, Sociology of Education: Emerging Perspectives, also published by SUNY Press.


"This book is definitely on the cutting edge of educational sociology theory and practice. " — Yali Zou, author of Ethnic Identity and Power: Cultural Contexts of Political Action in School and Society

"This book synthesizes many of the current issues facing urban schools. I was particularly intrigued by the way it shed insight into specific pedagogical approaches that validated the culture of many urban youth by infusing their culture into the curriculum. Such examples of culturally responsive pedagogy are needed to engage urban students in learning. The book illustrates the disconnection that so frequently exists between the lived experiences of urban youth and the school curriculum while simultaneously showing how some teachers have made connections between the two resulting in powerful pedagogy. " — Grace Cureton Stanford, Penn State University