Teaching Without Bells: What We Can Learn from Powerful Practice in Small Schools

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Small schools have the potential to fundamentally change the conditions of teaching and learning when practitioners deliberately exploit smallness and recognize relationships as a powerful mechanism for improving student achievement. Feldman explains the dynamics of teaching in a small high school--what having fewer students in a school affords teachers, as well as the challenges for teaching that exist alongside the opportunities--based on research, teacher interviews, and the author's own experiences as a practitioner in both small and large schools. This book is for any educator or researcher who wants to better understand the kind of promising practices and professional norms that have been nurtured under conditions of smallness. Being informed about what is possible and often facilitated in small schools will enable educators to better reflect on their own practice, consider certain pedagogical strategies against the organizational characteristics of schools, and make educated career choices. Armed with this information, educators and researchers can become more focused in their advocacy efforts and more empowered to improve our public high schools whether by redesigning them into small schools or by transplanting and translating small school practices and strategies.