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Doing School: How We Are Creating A Generation Of Stressed Out, Materialistic, And Miseducated Students
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Doing School: How We Are Creating A Generation Of Stressed Out, Materialistic, And Miseducated Students

3.6  ·  Rating details ·  396 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
A revealing, and troubling, view of today's American high school students and the ways they pursue high grades and success. Veteran teacher Denise Pope follows five highly regarded students through a school year and discovers that these young people believe getting ahead requires manipulating the system, scheming, lying and cheating.
Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Published (first published 2001)
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Mar 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: education
As a high school teacher, I would have to say this depiction of American high schools is fairly accurate. Though the school being profiled seems to be an elite one, the mix of students represented does provide a diversity of perspectives. I would love to see a similar book with the teachers' perspectives on their roles and why they make the decisions they do. From my own view, teachers at all levels feel pressure from many angles and often feel constrained by the very system they are working in ...more
2.5 stars, because I was disappointed in the lack of author analysis and solutions. This book profiles a handful of kids in an affluent CA high school (it's anonymized but my guess is Bay Area) in the late 1990s-2000. I imagine they graduated the same year I did or maybe the year before.

The kids:
Kevin- half Japanese, high tracked slacker with a competitive streak
Eve- Chinese animatron student giving herself ulcers with stress, bound for the Ivy League
Teresa- [illegal?] Mexican immigrant with hig
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this was so much like wv it was honestly scary
D. Ryan
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pope portrays very clearly how students get caught up in the rat race of grades and resume-building.

It is unfortunate that the prevailing view about education is that you have to be a top notch student to survive in our country. Education becomes about getting a good job and not about cultivating a love of learning and gaining true knowledge.

Pope doesn't offer many solutions, but the few she does offer are not on point. Students will be delivered from this rat-race when they have parents and t
Mar 13, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fellow teacher recommended this book to me. "You'll be appalled and discouraged!" she warned. After reading this, however, I was not appalled or discouraged, and I was actually dumbfounded as to how she had been teaching for so long and was [appalled and discouraged].

The general idea of this expose is that someone (an admissions officer from Stanford, actually) follows 5 students who are considered the "top of the top" at a privileged high school in California for a year (I'm fairly certain b
Jul 17, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As a teacher, I do understand, and even desire, the need for educational reform. I agree with some of the points the author makes in this book. However, I am concerned with the limited scope of the study and the lack of consideration of other aspects of the students' lives than just the school system. The book points out all of the issues with the current public school system, and states that there are solutions, but it never discusses any of these said solutions. I am tired of books that choose ...more
Sep 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Doing School reveals a disturbing trend in today's high schools. Denise Pope introduces the reader to five students who will stop at nothing to get good grades, including sacrificing their morals. Based on the belief that their grades will be the determinant of their future lives, the reader cannot help but empathize. As such, Pope stresses the importance of taking a closer look at the messages that are sent to today's youth. Sad but true, “doing school” has caused students to lose their LOVE of ...more
Eh. Not great, but not terrible. I wasn't a fan of the mostly anecdotal approach; I would have appreciated more concrete, quantitative research. It was well-written, but it certainly didn't offer any alternatives to the "stressed-out" schools under which we operate.
Dec 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Look around, there are always students in every school who take all the AP and honors classes, has the perfect GPA, is a three season varsity athlete, and serve their community. Denise Clark Pope reveals the behind the scene of highly regarded five students to discover what these students believe to take to be such a “perfect” students in her book, Doing School. It is a fascinating book to discover and agree with the students who face challenges and struggle to keep up with high expectations. Th ...more
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