Going to school: How the routines of ordinary life inhibit reform in high schools

Michael John Masko, University of Pennsylvania


Going to School is a fictionalized case study of why most high schools of the 1990s are immune to progressive reform. The author, from his position as an assistant principal in a suburban public high school, examines the lives of a newly-appointed assistant principal and her fifteen-year-old son for one week in 1995. The reader is confronted with the ordinary routines of "going to school" as a place of work, a place of learning and a place of social interaction. The author concludes that, despite the assistant principal's recognition of the need for reform, and despite seven years of effort on the part of some teachers at her school to make their school into an intellectual and democratic place, fundamental reform will not take place. Furthermore, the ordinary daily experience of "going to school" is a central factor in making schools weak supporters of intellectual and democratic values.

Subject Area

Secondary education|Educational psychology|School administration

Recommended Citation

Masko, Michael John, "Going to school: How the routines of ordinary life inhibit reform in high schools" (1996). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9632521.