The grammar of schooling is that assemblage of pedagogical routines and principles that students, teachers, and education researchers tend to agree constitute the process of school-based instruction. Major books and articles on school change and teacher education published over the past decade or two suggest that those practices and structures associated with real school are so firmly entrenched in the imagination and habits of school personnel and parents alike that altering them results in only transient change—or substantive change that is so gradual it is barely noticed.

At once both elusive and a commonplace, the grammar of schooling (also termed real school) includes the routines and the physical arrangements of instructional time and space—or at least those common in North American elementary and secondary schools. The ...

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