The Authors: John Smyth is Professorial Fellow at University of Ballarat, and Adjunct Professor at Charles Darwin University, Australia. He recently held the Roy F. & Joann Cole Mitte Endowed Chair in School Improvement at Texas State University-San Marcos, where he is currently an adjunct graduate professor. He is the author/editor of fifteen books and many articles, and his most recent book (with Hattam and others) is 'Dropping Out', Drifting Off, Being Excluded: Becoming Somebody Without School (Peter Lang, 2004). Peter McInerney is Research Associate at University of Ballarat, and a former high school teacher. His recent book is Making Hope Practical; School Reform for Social Justice (2004).
'Teachers in the Middle' is an enormously important book, one of a relative few that takes us beyond the often trivialized treatment of young adolescents and their schools. In its place we see the possibility of democratic middle schooling complete with student voice, collaborative relationships, intellectually challenging and meaningful curriculum, and much more. Set in Australia, 'Teachers in the Middle' speaks to policies, politics, and practice in middle schooling everywhere. (James Beane, National College of Education, National-Louis University, Illinois) With his usual scholarly insight, John Smyth illustrates along with his collaborator Peter McInerney, the intellectual failure of neo-conservative assumptions about youth and their schooling while concurrently providing readers with compelling alternatives to such bankrupt pedagogical practices. An intellectually savvy and practical must read for those concerned with middle school education. (Joe Kincheloe, McGill University, Montreal) Reminiscent of progressive writings of the 1930s and 1940s when efforts to bring about more humane schools held sway, this serious work is scholarly and readable. It offers a needed, fresh, and counter perspective on the problem of educating adolescents in today's world. The inclusion of many poignant and pithy comments and scenarios made by students and teachers give this thought-provoking work an engaging richness and relevance. (John Lounsbury, Emeritus Professor, Georgia College and State University)