''Heterogenius'' Classrooms--Behind the Scenes: Detracking Math and Science--A Look at Groupwork in Action

''Peering into science and math classrooms to bear witness to the transformative possibilities of detracking, 'Heterogenius' Classrooms offers wide-angle inspiration and explicit zoom-in on details of practice. . . . Through accessible language and detailed illustrations, these very fine educators carefully reveal the magic but also the how-to's of rigorous curricula, complex tasks, and deep classroom participation.''

--From the Foreword by Michelle Fine, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, The Graduate Center-City University of New York

''I love it. We need it. We're living through dangerous times and how we organize schooling is an essential ingredient in restoring community, providing for both a better and more equitable experience for all children. Thank you Watanabe et al.!''

--Deborah Meier, Steinhardt School of Education, New York University

''For most of the pre-service mathematics teachers I work with, designing and teaching a lesson with problems and questions that will engage untracked groups of students in rich mathematical discussion is great theory but is impossible for them to imagine in practice. 'Heterogenius' Classrooms provides just the connection they need to see. This well organized DVD provides an 'existence proof' that when teachers implement the community building methods of Complex Instruction, their students can and do engage in productive mathematical work.''

--Judith Kysh, San Francisco State University

''Professional developers struggle to find concrete examples of positive groupwork in math and science to help teachers incorporate successful strategies into their teaching. 'Heterogenius' Classrooms combines video snapshots of teachers using these strategies with explicit and clear descriptions of each strategy, how and when to use it, and why the strategy is effective. This is a powerful resource that should be a part of any professional developer's library.''

--Rebecca Smith, Co-Director, Science & Health Education Partnership (SEP), University of California, San Francisco

While researchers have documented the promise of detracking reform, many teachers still find it difficult to teach students with a wide range of academic skills in one classroom. Through engaging classroom footage and powerful interviews with teachers, students, and administrators, this 80-minute DVD showcases best practices from successful detracked math and science secondary classrooms. The companion book features the backdrop to the film, including lesson plans, student handouts, rubrics, and reflections written by featured teachers in order of their appearance in the film. Concluding chapters cover topics such as support for struggling students, professional development opportunities for teachers, and frequently asked questions about and additional resources on detracking. 

In this current high-stakes testing climate, educators must make a decision about how to address the needs of students who are not meeting grade-level expectations. Do they place these students in separate, remedial classes, or do they detrack? This resource shows that detracking--more rigor with multiple entry points and support--is the socially just and effective alternative to remediation through tracking.

Temple S. LovelaceComment