Reviewed by Thomas Brown
This book provides an interesting view into the world of education. The author, a college professor, spent one year teaching at a high school in New York City. His reflections on his experiences during that year form the foundation for his short, but insightful book.The author’s work can be helpful to any educator, particularly science teachers, who wish to reflect on their own experiences and their application in improving their craft.
One of the strengths of the book is the specific examples that the author uses from his year at the urban high school. He describes his observations of different teachers as well as his interactions with students as he teaches his physics class. These descriptions are used by the author to discuss his attempts to reconcile theory with his daily experience as a classroom teacher. The author’s search for the means to build inquiry into his high school science course leads him through a variety of experiences. He describes how students are “trained” to learn in certain ways, particularly with regard to being successful on standard measurements, such as the NY Regents Exam.
This short work is most interesting when the author reflects on his experiences and then describes the ways in which he adapts his own teaching to try to accomplish his goal. This illustrates how a teacher might reflect on his craft and use those reflections to improve their teaching. The author writes in a very succinct manner, and a teacher reading this work can easily read each chapter separately and combine their messages into a full lesson to help them improve their own craft. Any teacher who wishes to enjoy a good read and gain motivation to reflect on his or her own experiences will find this book to be a truly worthwhile reading experience.
Review posted on 4/16/2012