With its reflective examination of the social conditions of classroom life, Philip W. Jackson's Life in Classrooms became a touchstone in the dramatic expansion of the concept of curriculum in the second half of the 20th century. Jackson's combination of an ethnographic study of classroom life and quantitative analyses of student and teacher experience revealed that much more was taught in school than the explicit subject matter and that the most lasting lessons might not be intended at all.

The book is divided into 5 chapters. The first chapter, “The Daily Grind,” describes familiar classroom conditions, showing how the crowds, praise, and power that typify classroom life dominate children's experience and shape their developing role as students. Because schoolchildren typically live in a world with one ...

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