chapter  6
30 Pages

Extraordinary Conversations in Public Schools

Over the past 25 years, scholars have amassed an impressive array of work aimed at uncovering the ways in which schools reproduce social inequalities. Forming a corpus of structuralist interpretation, such studies wind through the ways in which curriculum (Apple, 1982; Anyon, 1983; Gaskell, 1992), standardized testing (Haney, 1993), political economy and bureaucratic organization (Anyon, 1997), teacher practices (Kelly & Nihlen, 1982), and university preparation (Ginsberg, 1988) serve to sustain broader social inequalities. Although it is well understood that schooling plays a crucial role in offering opportunities for individual social mobility, it does, at the same time, serve to perpetuate and indeed legitimize widespread structural inequalities.