Review by Choice Review
Ferguson (Smith College) reveals how institutional practices create bad boys through teachers' preconceived ideas, judgments, rules, regulations, and forms of punishment. Part 1 analyzes the disciplinary systems of the school and the practices of labeling and categorizing students as problems and failures. It explains how the exercise of rules operates as a hidden curriculum used to brand African American elementary school boys as potential criminals. It examines the beliefs, the social relationships, and the everyday practices that reveal a pattern of disrespect and discriminatory behavior toward African American males in an effort to force them into conforming behavior. Part 2 presents a shift in perspective from school to student. It reviews the interaction between rule breaking and racial and gender identification and explains why many African American children, especially boys, refuse to learn from people who reject them and their families. For a similar perspective, see Helen Gouldner's Teachers' Pets, Troublemakers, and Nobodies: Black Children in Elementary School (1978). Recommended for practitioners, upper-division undergraduates, and graduate students. N. L. Arnez; emeritus, Howard University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.