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Effective Interventions and School Reforms for At-Risk Children
What are effective interventions for at-risk children? This course will address this question with a focus on children in poverty and children suffering social and emotional risks. We will examine several school initiatives—including the movement to implement standards and high-stakes tests, promising charter and pilot schools, and efforts to improve teaching, as well as selected early childhood initiatives, mentoring programs, and after school interventions. While the primary focus of the course will be on the impact of interventions on children's academic development, we will also look at their impact on children's social and ethical development.
The course will consider not only whether these initiatives ameliorate deficits and troubles, but whether they nurture strengths and resiliency, and students will examine new models of resiliency. Attention will be given to the different sources and different expression of risk and resilience across race, class, and culture.
For each of these reforms and interventions, we will explore several questions: How convinced are we—based on the available evidence—that the intervention is, in fact, effective? In what sense is the intervention effective? For example, what kinds of children are helped by these interventions—and how much are they helped—and who is left behind? Is the intervention effective in reducing racial inequality? Economic inequality? What are the major ingredients of the intervention? If an intervention is effective, how can it be sustained and replicated? Which interventions, given the evidence, should be priorities in our public policies?
Reforms and interventions in Boston will provide the examples for most of the class discussions. Guest speakers will be centrally involved in these interventions and reform efforts. Classes will be fairly evenly split between lectures and discussion. There will be a section.
Prior knowledge and background in theories of risk and resilience and current school reforms would be helpful for students. Enrollment is limited to enable more intensive classroom discussion. Permission of the instructor is required.
There are no required texts. Required readings will be made available in a Xerox package or, if copyright fees are too great, will be on reserve in the KSG and/or GSE libraries. Class discussions will be based largely on the readings.
Students will be required to write two seven- to eight-page papers and one memo (four pages). Students may do oral presentations in lieu of one of their papers. An outline of the final paper or oral presentation will be due April 16, and students will be asked to give one another feedback on this outline. Several times students will also be asked to prepare questions and reflections based on the readings for class. Students may also be asked to prepare questions for section. Grades will be based primarily on the papers. Strong class and section participation can boost students' grades.
Class I. Introduction: Understanding “Risk” and Poverty as a Risk Factor
Parker, S. et al. “Double Jeopardy: The Impact of Poverty on Early Childhood Development,” The Pediatric Clinics of North America, 1988, 35(6), pp. 1–14.
Weissbourd, R. The Vulnerable Child: What Really Hurts America's Children and What We Can Do About It, Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1996, pp. 31–45.
Class II. Individual Vulnerability Versus “Risk Factors”
Olsen, T. I Stand Here Ironing, Doubleday, pp. 1–12.
Weissbourd, R. Op Cit, pp. 1–9, 125–130.
Kotlowitz, A. There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America, New York: Anchor Books, 1991, pp. 3–32.
Liu, E. The Accidental Asian, chapter 2, “Notes of a Native Speaker,” pp. 33–56.
Schorr, L. Within Our Reach, chapter 2, “The Risk Factors,” New York: Doubleday, pp. 23–33.
Recommended: Finnegan, W. Cold New World, New York: Random House, pp. 3–92.
Class III. Resilience
Werner, E. “Risk, Resilience and Recovery: Perspectives From the Kuai Longitudinal Study,” Development and Psychopathology, Vol. 5, No. 4, Fall 1993, Cambridge University Press, pp. 503–514.
Masten & Coatsworth, “The Development of Competence in Favorable and Unfavorable Environments,” American Psychologist, February 1998, pp. 212–216.
Egeland, B. et al., “Resilience as Process,” Development and Psychopathology, Vol. 5, No. 4, Fall 1993, Cambridge University Press, pp. 517–528.
Smokowski, P. “Prevention and Intervention Strategies for Promoting Resilience in Disadvantaged Children,” Social Service Review, Sept. 1998, pp. 336–363.
Feb. 19 – No class
Class IV. Race, Ethnicity, and Resilience
Delpit, L. Other People's Children, The New Press, New York, pp. 11–47, 167–183.
Steinberg, L. Beyond the Classroom, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1996, pp. 78–100.
Jencks, C., & Phillips, M. “America's Next Achievement Test,” The American Prospect, pp. 44–53.
Suarez-Orozco, M., & Suarez-Orozco, C. “The Children of Immigration in School,” Children of Immigration, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, chapter 5, pp. 124–153.
Zhou, M. “Growing up American: The Challenge Confronting Immigrant Children and Children of Immigrants,” Annual Review of Sociology, 1997, pp. 63–95.
Waters, M. “Immigrant Families at Risk: Factors That Undermine Chances for Success,” Immigration and the Family, Lawrence Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ, 1997, pp. 79–87.
Class V. Ethical and Social Development
Damon, W. The Moral Child, Free Press, 1998, preface and chapter 1, pp. 1–11, and chapter 8, pp. 131–152.
Kohn, A. “How Not to Teach Values,” Phi Delta Kappan, February 1997, pp. 429–439.
Lickona, T. “A More Complex Analysis Is Needed,” Phi Delta Kappan, February 1998, pp. 449–454.
Damon, W., & Colby, A. “Education and Moral Commitment,” Journal of Moral Education, Vol. 25, No. 1, 1996, pp. 31–37.
Fine, M. Habits of Mind, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 1995, pp. 101–136.
Class VI. Effective Early Childhood Interventions
Frede, E. “The Role of Program Quality in Producing Early Childhood Program Benefits,” in Long Term Outcomes for Early Childhood Programs, The Future of Children, Vol. 5, No. 3, Winter 1995, pp. 115–132.
Currie, J. Early Childhood Intervention Programs: What Do We Know? [unpublished paper] UCLA and NBER, email: email@example.com, April 2000, pp. 1–47.
Reynolds, A. The Chicago Child-Parent Centers: A Longitudinal Study of Extended Early Childhood Intervention, University of Wisconsin-Madison, March 1997, pp. 1–41, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ramey, C. “Helping Children Get Started Right: The Benefits of Early Childhood Intervention,” Wisconsin Family Impact Seminars, pp. 21–28. Available at www.uwex.edu/ces/familyimpact/reports/fis14three.pdf (Acrobat file).
“The High/Scope Perry Preschool Project,” Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S Department of Justice, Juvenile Justice Bulletin, pp. 1–7. Available at www.ncjrs.org/pdffiles1/ojjdp/181725.pdf (Acrobat file).
Murray, J. The Early Learning Academy: A Concept Paper, Harvard Children's Initiative, January 2002, pp. 1–6.
Bowman, B., Donovan, S., & Burns, S. (Eds.), National Research Council, Eager to Learn, Committee on Early Childhood Pedagogy, National Research Council, National Academy Press, Washington, DC, executive summary, pp. 1–21.
Class VII. Supporting Parents: Interventions to Prevent and Ameliorate Parental Depression
Beardslee, B. Out of the Darkened Room, Little Brown, Boston, 2002, pp. 3–12.
Weissbourd, R. Parental Depression: Why We Need a Public Health Campaign (forthcoming article), January 2003, pp. 1–21.
Podorefsky, D. et al., “Adaptation of Preventive Interventions for a Low-Income Culturally Diverse Community,” Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Vol. 40, No. 8, August 2001, Department of Psychiatry, Children's Hospital, email: email@example.com, pp. 1–34.
Beardslee, B. Prevention and the Clinical Encounter: Implications From the Development and Evaluation of a Preventive Intervention for Depression in Families, Children's Hospital, Boston, pp. 1–30.
Lyons-Ruth, K. et al., “Reaching the Hard-to-Reach: Serving Isolated and Depressed Mothers With Infants in the Community,” in B. Cohler & J. Musick, (Eds.), Interventions With Psychiatrically Disabled Parents and Their Young Children, New Directions in Mental Health Services, 24. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, December 1984, pp. 95–121.
Spring break – no class
Class VIII. Academic Standards: An Effective Intervention for At-Risk Children?
Noddings, N. “Thinking About Standards,” Phi Delta Kappan, 11/97, pp. 184–189.
Riegeluth, C. “Educational Standards,” Phi Delta Kappan, 11/97, pp. 202–206.
Berkson, W. “A Place to Stand,” Phi Delta Kappan, 11/97, pp. 207–211.
Darling-Hammond, L., & Falk, B., “Using Standards and Assessments to Support Student Learning,” Phi Delta Kappan, 11/97, pp. 190–199.
Class IX. Academic Standards II: The MCAS – An Effective Intervention for At-Risk Children?
Darling-Hammond, L. Transforming Urban Public Schools: The Role of Standards and Accountability, draft paper presented as part of the Robert Wood Johnson Urban Seminar Series. Conference entitled “Creating Change in Urban Education.” Harvard University, December 7 and 8, 2001.
Kurtz, M. Testing, Testing: School Accountability in Massachusetts, working paper 1, Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Paper presented at conference at the Kennedy School, October 11, 2001, pp. 1–21.
Staying the Course With Standards-Based Reform: What It Will Take, a position paper from the Pew Forum, Harvard Graduate School of Education, September 2000, pp. 1–13.
Bryk, A. No Child Left Behind: Chicago Style. What Has Really Been Accomplished? Paper prepared for the conference on “Taking Account of Accountability” sponsored by the Program on Education Policy and Governance at the Kennedy School of Government, June 2002.
Class X. Model Programs Versus Teacher Development
Comer, J. “Educating Poor Minority Children,” Scientific American, 1988; Vol. 259, No. 5, pp. 42–48.
Lemann, N. “Ready, Read!” The Atlantic Monthly, November 1998, pp. 92–104.
Traub, J. “It's Elementary,” The New Yorker, July 17, 1995, pp. 74–79.
Slavin, R. “Whenever and Wherever We Choose … The Replication of Success-for-All,” Center for Research on Effective Schooling for Disadvantaged Students, Johns Hopkins University, 1993, pp. 1–21.
Murray, J. “Boston's Next Generation of Teachers,” a report of the Harvard Children's Initiative, commissioned by the Office of the Mayor and the Office of the Superintendent, Boston, 2001.
Johnson, S. M. “Teaching's Next Generation,” Education Week, June 7, 2000, pp. 48–49.
Miller, M. “Short Fall,” The New Republic, Feb. 28, 2000.
Class XI. School Reform in Boston and Is School Reform the Solution?
Whole School Change in Boston, a report of the Boston Plan for Excellence, draft 11/1/99, pp. 127–142.
A Report on the Transitions Program in Boston
Traub, J. “What No School Can Do,” The New York Times Magazine, Jan. 16, 2000.
Barber, M. “Large-Scale Reform Is Possible,” Education Week, November 15, 2000, pp. 1–3.
Barber, B., “America Skips School,” Harpers Magazine, November 1993.
Recommended: Weissbourd, R. “How Cities Can Improve Children's Outcomes: The Case of ReadBoston,” Handbook of Applied Developmental Science, Vol. 2, 2003, chapter 12, pp. 275–290, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA.
Class XII. Afterschool Interventions: Can They Change the Prospects of At-Risk Children?
Readings to be announced
Class XIII. Mentoring: How Much Difference Does It Make?
Rhodes, J., & Roffman, J. “Relationship-Based Interventions: The Impact of Mentoring and Apprenticeship on Youth Development,” in Jacobs et al. (eds.), Handbook of Applied Developmental Science, Vol. 2, chapter 9, pp. 225–237.
Freedman, M. The Kindness of Strangers: Adult Mentors, Urban Youth and the New Voluntarism, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 1993, pp. 61–92.
Other readings to be announced
Class XIV. Scaling-Up and Wrap-Up
Elmore, R. “Getting to Scale With Good Educational Practice,” Harvard Educational Review, Vol. 66, No.1, Spring 1996, pp. 1–26.
Tyack, D., & Cuban, L. Tinkering Toward Utopia: A Century of School Reform, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1995, chapter 3, “How Schools Change Reforms,” pp. 60–84.
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