Quiet Riot offers an anthropological critique of teaching and learning in two U.S. high schools over a twenty-seven year period. Based on the author's experiences shadowing two average students in 1983 and 2009, it presents detailed observations that powerfully capture the reality of student experiences in school. Despite many changes in schools over this near thirty year period, observations show a remarkable continuity in what goes on in classrooms. This is because the culture of teaching and learning in classrooms has remained relatively unchanged. While teachers are sincere, they also undermine their own efforts in a variety of ways. Students are disengaged not because they do not care, but because the instruction they receive systematically prevents them from engaging at a deep intellectual level with subject matter. Observations in high schools are supplemented with elementary school observations that demonstrate the early trajectories of disengagement that capture many students. The book illustrates the powerful patterning of the culture of teaching and learning in schooling that undermines the true goals of an authentic education.
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Number of pages: 124
Weight: 367 g
Dimensions: 238 x 163 x 15 mm
Diane Hoffman shadowed two average students in American high schools in 1983 and 2009, and this book presents the results of these anthropological case studies. She concludes that there was remarkably little change in the everyday experiences of students separated by 27 years. Students are relatively disengaged because curriculum is reduced to procedural practice drills designed to help students get the `right answers.' There is much truth in Hoffman's observations, and describing American education from the inside out by observing everyday events certainly has value. * CHOICE *
Dr. Diane Hoffmann's Quiet Riot provides rich evidence of a phenomena many of us who have conducted classroom studies for decades know intuitively - the phrase, "The more things change, the more they stay the same" is unfortunately more accurate than we would hope. With graphic examples from shadowing "average" students in 1983 and 2009, the reader is left with the question, "What happened to the decades of reform if these classrooms are essentially interchangeable?" Fortunately, Dr. Hoffmann provides compelling explanations and suggestions for alternative educational approaches. -- Christine Robinson Finnan, PhD, professor, College of Charleston