The Trouble with Ed Schools


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David F. Labaree

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American schools of education get little respect. They are portrayed as intellectual wastelands, as impractical and irrelevant, as the root cause of bad teaching and inadequate learning. In this book a sociologist and historian of education examines the historical developments and contemporary factors that have resulted in the unenviable status of ed schools, offering valuable insights into the problems of these beleaguered institutions.
David F. Labaree explains how the poor reputation of the ed school has had important repercussions, shaping the quality of its programs, its recruitment, and the public response to the knowledge it offers. He notes the special problems faced by ed schools as they prepare teachers and produce research and researchers. And he looks at the consequences of the ed school’s attachment to educational progressivism. Throughout these discussions, Labaree maintains an ambivalent position about education schools—admiring their dedication and critiquing their mediocrity, their romantic rhetoric, and their compliant attitudes.

David F. Labaree is professor in the School of Education at Stanford University. He is the author of How to Succeed in School Without Really Learning: The Credentials Race in American Education and The Making of an American High School: The Credentials Market and the Central High School of Philadelphia, 1838-1939, both published by Yale University Press.

“A lively and persuasive analysis of the trouble with ed schools. It will undoubtedly be discussed—and argued about—within the education policy community.”—Barbara Beatty, Wellesley College

“A well-written and unusually thoughtful treatise on both the virtues and liabilities of schools of education and their historic mission of training the nation’s teachers.”—John L. Rury, Professor & Chair, Department of Teaching & Leadership, University of Kansas

"David Labaree provides a provocative perspective on the challenges facing schools of education, reminding the reader of both their strengths and weaknesses. His final recommendations are not necessarily encouraging, but they are important reflections of the problems and opportunities facing students and professors in schools of education."—Philo Hutcheson, Georgia State University

“This accessible, sophisticated, and insightful book should become required reading for those in teacher education and in studies of professionalism.”—Thomas Popkewitz, University of Wisconsin

"Labaree presents an interesting sociological and historical analysis of schools of education in the U.S. The author discusses in detail the structural and cultural inconsistencies between what is expected of schools of education and what they really do."—Choice



"Those who work and study in schools of education will find The Trouble with Ed Schools an extremely readable and concise source for understanding the history and current discourse around these institutions. . . . Many will be stimulated by Labaree's engaging tone and bold conclusions."—Harvard Educational Review


"At the heart of this important book lies a cool and scholarly analysis of the causes of the generally low status and poor image endured by schools of education in the United States."—Harry Judge, American Journal of Education

Co-winner of the 1998 American Educational Studies Association Critics’ Choice Award for outstanding contributions to an area related to Educational Studies
ISBN: 9780300119787
Publication Date: September 12, 2006
256 pages, 6 x 9
The Making of an American High School

The Credentials Market and the Central High School of Philadelphia, 1838-1939

David F. Labaree

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How to Succeed in School Without Really Learning

The Credentials Race in American Education

David F. Labaree

View details