Joanne W. Golann

Dec 17, 2021

Scripting the Moves

Culture and Control in a "No-Excuses" Charter School

Princeton University Press 2021

Ethnographer and sociologist Joanne Golann spent 18 months observing the day-to-day life of students and teachers in a “no-excuses” charter school. In her book Scripting the Moves: Culture and Control in a "No-Excuses" Charter School (Princeton UP, 2021), she explores the school’s use of behavioural scripts, including SLANT. Golann investigates the reasoning behind the use of these scripts, their implementation and their impacts on the school community, and questions whether the micro-management shaping every school day serves its stated purpose, namely, to prepare students for college in the future.

Exploring ideas about cultural capital, authority, socialisation, leadership and autonomy in the charter school setting, Golann’s study provides a rare glimpse into the internal workings of an educational institution that should be required reading for anyone interested in school reform.

Joanne Golann is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Education and an Assistant Professor of Sociology (secondary) at Vanderbilt University. Twitter: @jwgolann,

Alice Garner is historian, teacher and performer with a PhD from the University of Melbourne, Australia.

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