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Unfit Subjects: Educational Policy and the Teen Mother

reviewed by Elizabeth M. Zachry - 2006

coverTitle: Unfit Subjects: Educational Policy and the Teen Mother
Author(s): Wanda S. Pillow
Publisher: Routledge/Falmer, New York
ISBN: 0415944937 , Pages: 228, Year: 2004
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Although a picture may say a thousand words, Wanda Pillow’s (2004) new book, Unfit Subjects, shows just how powerful words themselves can be.  In her work, Pillow analyzes how words—the words of policy makers, politicians, and the American public—can change not only the perception of who teen mothers are but also the opportunities made available to them.  By investigating the discourses surrounding teenage motherhood, Pillow seeks to highlight “the racialized discursive structures that construct teen pregnancy” in order to resituate teen mothers’ education as an “equal opportunity educational policy issue” (p. 11).  Throughout her work, Pillow clearly shows how teen mothers and the educational decisions made about them are deeply intertwined with race and gender polemics, an issue which has served to limit the amount and type of education they receive.  By reviewing how educators and policy makers treat teen mothers prior to, during, and after their pregnancy, Pillow shows... (preview truncated at 150 words.)

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 108 Number 5, 2006, p. 885-889
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12133, Date Accessed: 4/7/2020 5:01:14 PM

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About the Author
  • Elizabeth Zachry
    Harvard University
    E-mail Author
    ELIZABETH ZACHRY is an advanced doctoral student at Harvard University Graduate School of Education in the Human Development and Psychology Program. She has been a Doctoral Fellow at the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy for the past three years and concentrates her research in adult literacy and the issues surrounding students’ dropout and re-engagement in school. Her most recent publication, entitled “Getting My Education": Teen Mothers’ Experiences in School Before and After Motherhood, will be published in the Teachers College Record in April 2006.
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