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A Review of Lortie’s Schoolteacher
Dan C. Lortie’s Schoolteacher: A sociological study is one of the best works on the sociology of teaching since W. Waller’s classic study. It is a book worthy of review. Following the tradition of symbolic interactionists, Lortie demonstrated the qualities who studied the occupation of teaching. Using several methods to gather effective data, Lortie has portrayed the ethos of the teaching profession. Therefore, the work is an important book on the teaching profession and teacher culture. Though outstanding, Lortie’s work is also flawed in that his perspectives and methodology were adopted largely from symbolic interactionism. First, Lortie in his work analyzed many points regarding teacher culture; for example, he was interested in exploring “sentiment,” “cathexis,” and “ethos.” Thus, he was more a psychologist than a sociologist. Second, symbolic interactionism led him to discern the teacher culture from a micro view, thereby missing the structural aspects. For example, he did not fully discuss the issue of gender and he ignored the issue of race. Finally, following the qualitative sociological tradition, Lortie employed many qualitative methods to gather data but only foucused on obtaining and presenting interview data. Moreover, he used measurement methods that were too simplistic for analyzing quantitative data fully.
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[1] R. L. Larson, “Schoolteacher: A sociological inquiry,” Teachers College Record, vol.77 no.4, pp.642-645, 1976.
[2] R.A. Wallace & A. Wolf, Contemporary sociological theory: Expending the classical tradition (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2006.
[3] D. C. Lortie, Schoolteacher: A Sociological Study. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago, 1975.
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[5] A. Hargreaves, The Persistence of Presentism and the Struggle For Lasting Improvement. London, Institute of Education, University of London, 2008.
[6] A. Hargreaves, Presentism, individualism, and conservatism: the legacy of Dan Lortie’s Schoolteacher: A Sociological Study,” Curriculum Inquiry, vol. 40 no.1, pp.143-155.
[7] A. Hargreaves and P. Woods, “Introduction,” in A. Hargreaves and P. Woods (eds.) Classrooms & Staffrooms: The Sociology of Teachers and Teaching. Milton Keynes: Open University Press. 1984, pp. 1-11.
[8] http:ducation.stateuniversity.com/pages/2540/ Waller-Willard-W-1899-1945.html#ixzz3sQhfoZgq
[9] J. I. Goodlad, A Place Called School, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1984.
[10] H. Acland, “Book review,” American Educational Research J. vol.13 no.2, pp.139-142, spring 1976.
[11] A. Hargreaves, “Individualism and individuality: reinterpreting the teacher culture,” in J.W. Little & M.W. McLaughlin (eds.) Teacher Work: Individuals, colleagues and Contexts, New York, NY: Teacher College Press, 1993, pp.51-76.
[12] P. W. Jackson, Life in Classrooms. NewYork, NY: Teachers College Press, 1968.
[13] K. Casey and M. Apple, ”Gender and the conditions of teachers’ work: the development of understanding in America,” in S. Acker (ed.) Teachers, Gender and Career, Lews: Falmer Press, 1989. pp.171-186.
[14] B. Troyna, ”The ‘Everyday World’ of teachers? Deracialised discourses in the sociology of teachers and teaching profession,” BJSE, vol.15 no.3, pp.325-339, 1994.
[15] D.C. Lortie, “Unfinished work: reflections on Schoolteacher,” in A. Hargreaves, A. Liberman, M.Fullan and D. Hopkins (eds.) The International Handbook of Educational change, vol.1, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers,1998, pp.145-162.
[16] E. G. Guba, “Essay Review,” Educational Administration Quarterly, vol.12 no.1, p.104, 1976.
[17] D. C. Lortie, Schoolteacher: a sociological study. With a new preface (2nd ed.). Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago, 2002.
[18] R. Wenkert “Book review,” American Educational Research J., vol.13 no.2, pp.142-144, spring 1976.
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