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Urban Teaching: The Essentials


reviewed by Arthur Costigan & Margaret S. Crocco — April 27, 2006

coverTitle: Urban Teaching: The Essentials
Author(s): Lois Weiner
Publisher: Teachers College Press, New York
ISBN: 0807746436, Pages: 103, Year: 2006
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Let’s go back in time to 1964 to Hell’s Kitchen in New York City, the same area featured in West Side Story.  There, a run down, overcrowded building, the original DeWitt Clinton High School, contained teachers struggling under an uncaring administration to educate large numbers of alienated students. When one teacher moved away from force feeding the “high culture” of academe towards understanding and caring for her students, some “small victories” were achieved.  The story related here, is, of course, that of Bel Kaufman’s Up the Down Staircase. Have things changed since 1964?  The answer is, as expected: yes and no.  DeWitt Clinton High is now a restored college campus and Hell’s Kitchen, a gentrified neighborhood.  Yet urban schools are even more likely today than in 1964 to serve students who are poor, immigrant, and of color, whose families frequently are—often for good reason—wary of schooling.  The dropout rate in New... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: April 27, 2006
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12499, Date Accessed: 10/20/2017 12:21:37 PM

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About the Author
  • Arthur Costigan
    Queens College, CUNY
    E-mail Author
    ARTHUR T. COSTIGAN is a 13 year veteran of New York City’s public schools, ten of which were spent in two “high priority” schools. He is now co-director of English Education programs at Queens College, CUNY.
  • Margaret Crocco
    Teachers College, Columbia University
    MARGARET S. CROCCO is coordinator of the Social Studies Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Together they are co-authors of Learning to Teach in an Age of Accountability, 2004, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Their recent commentary on teaching in New York City can be found in Margaret Smith Crocco and Arthur T. Costigan (2006), “High Stakes Teaching: What’s at Stake for Teachers (and Students) in the Age of Accountability,” The New Educator, 2(1), 1–13.
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