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Behind Closed Doors: Teachers and the Role of the Teachers' Lounge


reviewed by Mary Metz — 2002

coverTitle: Behind Closed Doors: Teachers and the Role of the Teachers' Lounge
Author(s): Miriam Ben-Peretz and Shifra Schonmann
Publisher: State University of New York Press, Albany
ISBN: 0791444473 , Pages: 187, Year: 2000
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In Behind Closed Doors: Teachers and the Role of the Teachers’ Lounge, Miriam Ben-Peretz and Shifra Schonmann explore the life of the teachers’ lounge, describing it as a crucial physical and social space at the heart of teachers’ experience of their schools. They do a great service in asking readers to pay more attention to this backstage, informal, but sometimes critical space. Their strategy is a dual one. They report a multi-method study of the life of teachers’ lounges in Israel and their impact on teachers; this empirical research yields a mostly descriptive account. But the book is also an extended essay on the importance and potentialities of teachers’ lounges as a part of teachers’ individual professional and personal lives and, equally important, as a ground for developing their collective practice. The empirical study was ambitious and multifaceted. Employing ten graduate students, the authors coordinated observations in a wide variety of teachers’ lounges in Israeli elementary, middle, and high schools. They then videotaped interactions in a smaller number of... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 104 Number 5, 2002, p. 1024-1027
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10812, Date Accessed: 12/11/2017 6:32:21 AM

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About the Author
  • Mary Metz
    University of Wisconsin--Madison
    E-mail Author
    Mary Haywood Metz is Professor of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a sociologist who does qualitative studies of teachers in their organizational contexts. She has studied authority in the classroom, school culture, the development of magnet schools in the context of district politics, and the effects of the social class of surrounding communities on high school teachers’ working lives. Recent publications include “Sociology and Qualitative Methodologies in Education,” Harvard Educational Review, Vol. 70, No. 1 (Spring 2000), pp. 60-74.]
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