Educational Folly: Teacher Well-Being and the Chaos of American Schooling, offers a comprehensive critique of educational reforms that have eroded the teacher’s position. This leaves teachers with psychological scars – scars which are fueling the recent exodus from teaching. Gonsalves lays out a new vision for the future of education reform. This model centers around justice, community, and professionalism to return the teacher to the rightful head of the classroom and to restore dignity and progress to all of America’s schools.
Lisa M. Gonsalves, PhD, is Full Professor and Chair of the Curriculum and Instruction Department at the University of Massachusetts/Boston. She is also the long-time Director of the Teach Next Year, Teaching Residency Program.
Chapter 1: So, You Want to Teach in a High Needs School? Family, Friends, and the Media
Chapter 2: The Impact of Accountability Systems on Teachers and School Culture
Chapter 3: Students: The Impact of Social-Emotional Struggles, Trauma, and Learning
Difficulties on Classroom Behavior
Chapter 4: What Ails the Children?
Chapter 5: Cognitive Complexity and the Need for Competence
Section Two: Teacher Health and Well-Being
Chapter 6: How Under-Resourced Schools Thwart Teachers' Basic Human Needs
Chapter 7: Emotions and Cognitive Dissonance: The Psychological Pain of Teaching
Chapter 8: Colleagues and the Need for Relatedness in Schools
Chapter 9: Teachers of Color and White Teachers' Experiences in Schools: Different Causes,
Section Three: Reforming Urban Schools for Teacher and Student Well-Being
Chapter 10: Teacher Preparation: What Education Can Learn from the Field of Nursing
Chapter 11: School Culture and Environment: What Education can Learn from the Field of
Chapter 12: Nurses, Teachers, and Clinical Microsystems
Those in the classroom in K–12 schools or teacher-education programs are often confused by policy decisions that make no sense to those who understand teaching and learning…. Poorly conceived behavioral management programs are implemented, and teachers are blamed if they do not work. Gonsalves takes an insightful, nuanced look at the chaos that more than 40 years of unabated school reform have caused and the effects these reforms have had on teacher and student well-being, and offers some suggestions for policy makers and administrators. The book is organized into three parts, examining the challenging aspects of American schooling, teacher health and well-being, and the process of reforming urban schools for teacher and student well-being. The chapters that comprise each part illuminate the realities of teaching in high-needs schools, accountability initiatives, the lack of resources in urban schools, and the psychological pain of assessment. Gonsalves offers suggestions for teacher-preparation programs, school culture, and improved clinical approaches. Essential. General Readers, Upper-division Undergraduates, Graduate Students, Researchers/Faculty, Professionals/Practitioners.
Educational Folly: Teacher Well-Being and the Chaos of American Schooling by Dr. Lisa Gonsalves takes the reader on a clear and powerful journey into the struggles that American teachers face every day in schools across our country. Her book is a must-read primer for education policymakers, anyone considering the field of education, school board members, school administrators, and teacher leaders. Dr. Gonsalves picks apart how accountability systems, school culture, and trauma impact teacher wellness and health. Her suggestions to help reform our urban schools are both cogent and spot on. At the end of the book Dr. Gonsalves presents a brilliant recommendation to examine what education can learn from the field of nursing. Dr. Gonsalves has created a book that is an invitation for this country to consider the importance of teacher well-being and its impact on the children who sit in their classrooms.
The focus of Education Folly -- and especially the autonomy and dignity of teachers, which have been eroded badly in the course of recent years -- is terribly important. I hope the book is widely read.
11/30/23, Choice: This title was included in the “The Top 75 Community College Titles: November 2023 Edition.”