National Writing Project

Revisited article: School Culture

By: Miles Myers
Publication: The Quarterly, Vol. 17, No. 1
Date: Winter 1995

Summary: This article examines the relationship between classroom teachers and university researchers, making the claim that teacher authority is based on knowledge gained by experience in the schools, an experience not generally available to university researchers.



School has a culture all its own, and curriculum theorists ignore it at their peril. Grades and points are one example. Students who have internalized the school culture want grades and, if possible, points. For such questions as "Do I get a grade on this? What is it worth?" and "How long should it be?" teachers need ready answers:
"Yes, it will be graded by me or one of your peers. This assignment is worth twenty-three points, seven more than yesterday's. And how long? Fold your paper in half. Notice where the crease appears. Write it to there in the next ten minutes."

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