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Sweating the Small Stuff: Inner City Schools and the New Paternalism


reviewed by Linda Bol December 22, 2008

coverTitle: Sweating the Small Stuff: Inner City Schools and the New Paternalism
Author(s): David Whitman
Publisher: Thomas B. Fordham Institute, Washington, D.C.
ISBN: 0615214088, Pages: 386, Year: 2008
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In Sweating the Small Stuff: Inner City Schools and the New Paternalism, David Whitman contends that a strongly “paternalistic” school culture is the key ingredient necessary to bridge the achievement gap between poor students of color and their more affluent white counterparts. This argument distinguishes Whitman’s book from the scores of other books on educational reform highlighting characteristics of schools that have successfully promoted achievement among at-risk, typically inner city, minority students. A paternalistic school is defined as a “highly prescriptive institution that teaches students not just how to think but how to act according to what are commonly termed traditional, middle-class values” (p. 3). In paternalistic schools, teams of dedicated principals and teachers essentially serve in loco parentis during school hours. “Sweating the small stuff” refers to the unwavering focus on order, discipline, and character development that provide the scaffolding for academic achievement.   Whitman’s thesis on the need for... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: December 22, 2008
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15470, Date Accessed: 10/22/2017 10:27:57 PM

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