Willard Waller's "Sociology of Common Sense": A Tribute at Sixty-Six
by Randy Michael-Testa - 1998
Two years before the millennium, I take a close look at Wallerís classic text to see how well it holds up and what it offers first-time readers of educational sociology today. In this review, I locate Wallerís work within the social psychology of W. I. Thomas, place it against the backdrop of the American pragmatists, and pay attention to Wallerís keen interest in the works of Sigmund and Anna Freud. I argue that The Sociology of Teaching: (1) offers a fresh, trenchant discussion of the teacherís psyche and the inner experience of teaching; (2) makes a strong case that teacher-education programs should help beginning teachers understand how they are being socialized into the profession; (3) stands as a prototype for what is meant today by ďarts-based qualitative research," and (4) offers a rich compendium of projects whereby beginning students of school ethnography might become better educated themselves. In this essay review, I pay tribute to The Sociology of Teaching, an American educational original and its colorfully iconoclastic author.
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