Parents often wonder what their children do at school all day. How different is it from what they remember years ago? Teachers often hear similar questions from their friends. Is it like what they imagine? If these adults could really understand, what might they say about school? Does it matter? It would seem that the most effective critiques are those offered by the individuals with the most firsthand knowledge. But the analysis of outsiders is also powerful. These people can draw on their varied backgrounds to bring new perspectives to familiar challenges. They may see things that those with more experience can more easily miss, perhaps even the lived experience of students. What can we learn from those stories? In Substitute: Going to School with a Thousand Kids
(Blue Rider Press, 2016), Nicholson Baker
describes his month spent working as a substitute teacher with students of all ages or anyone looking to deepen their understanding of those experiences before offering their own policy proposals.
Baker joins New Books in Education
for the interview. To share your thoughts on the podcast, you can connect with him on Twitter at @nicolsonbaker8
During our conversation, he also recommended the following books:
Up the Down Staircase
by Bel Kaufman
Philosophy of Education
by Nel Noddings
The Way It Spozed to Be: A Report on the Classroom War Behind the Crisis in Our Schools
by James Herndon
Trevor Mattea is an educational consultant and speaker. His areas of expertise include deeper learning, parent involvement, project-based learning, and technology integration. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at @tsmattea.