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A Kind and Just Parent

The Children of Juvenile Court

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Paperback published by Beacon Press (Beacon Press)

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About This Book
Most people know juvenile offenders only from daily headlines, and the images portrayed by the media are extreme and violent: predators and even "superpredators." Distorted and incomplete, these pictures shape the way Americans think and feel about city kids, poor kids, children of color.

A Kind and Just Parent gives us a transformative view of kids caught up in the justice system that we could never get from nightly news and newspaper stories. William Ayers has spent five years as teacher and observer in Chicago's Juvenile Court prison, the nation's first and largest institution of juvenile justice, founded by legendary reformer Jane Addams to act as a "kind and just parent" for kids in need. Today, immensely confused and confusing, it serves as a perfect microcosm of the way American justice deals with children.

Through brilliant storytelling, Ayers captures the lives and personalities of young people caught up in the juvenile justice system. The book follows a year in the life of the prison school. Its characters are three dimensional: funny, quirky, sometimes violent, and often vulnerable. We see young people talking about their lives, analyzing their own situations, and thinking about their friends and their futures. We watch them throughout a school year and meet some remarkable teachers. From the intimate perspective of a teacher, Ayers gives us portraits, history, and analysis that help us to understand not only what brought these kids into the court system, but why people find it hard to think straight about them, and what we might do to keep their younger brothers and sisters from landing in the same place.

Unsentimental yet wrenching, A Kind and Just Parent is a riveting look at kids and crime. It will change the way Americans think about juvenile crime and juvenile justice.
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Most people know juvenile offenders only from daily headlines, and the images portrayed by the media are extreme and violent: predators and even "superpredators." Distorted and incomplete, these pictures shape the way Americans think and feel about city kids, poor kids, children of color.

A Kind and Just Parent gives us a transformative view of kids caught up in the justice system that we could never get from nightly news and newspaper stories. William Ayers has spent five years as teacher and observer in Chicago's Juvenile Court prison, the nation's first and largest institution of juvenile justice, founded by legendary reformer Jane Addams to act as a "kind and just parent" for kids in need. Today, immensely confused and confusing, it serves as a perfect microcosm of the way American justice deals with children.

Through brilliant storytelling, Ayers captures the lives and personalities of young people caught up in the juvenile justice system. The book follows a year in the life of the prison school. Its characters are three dimensional: funny, quirky, sometimes violent, and often vulnerable. We see young people talking about their lives, analyzing their own situations, and thinking about their friends and their futures. We watch them throughout a school year and meet some remarkable teachers. From the intimate perspective of a teacher, Ayers gives us portraits, history, and analysis that help us to understand not only what brought these kids into the court system, but why people find it hard to think straight about them, and what we might do to keep their younger brothers and sisters from landing in the same place.

Unsentimental yet wrenching, A Kind and Just Parent is a riveting look at kids and crime. It will change the way Americans think about juvenile crime and juvenile justice.
Product Details
Paperback (224 pages)
Published: June 1, 1998
Publisher: Beacon Press
Imprint: Beacon Press
ISBN: 9780807044032
Other books byWilliam Ayers
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    Handbook of Social Justice in Education

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    The Handbook of Social Justice in Education,a comprehensive and up-to-date review of the field, addresses, from multiple perspectives, education theory, research, and practice in historical and ideological context, with an emphasis on social movements for justice. Each of the nine sections explores a primary theme of social justice and education: Historical and Theoretical Perspectives International Perspectives on Social Justice in Education Race and Ethnicity, Language and Identity: Seeking Social Justice in Education Gender, Sexuality and Social Justice in Education Bodies, Disability and the Fight for Social Justice in Education Youth and Social Justice in Education Globalization: Local and World Issues in Education The Politics of Social Justice Meets Practice: Teacher Education and School Change Classrooms, Pedagogy, and Practicing Justice. Timely and essential, this is a must-have volume for researchers, professionals, and students across the fields of educational foundations, multicultural/diversity education, educational policy, and curriculum and instruction.

    City Kids, City Teachers

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    City Kids, City Teachers, now reissued with a new preface by William Ayers, has become a touchstone for urban educators, exploding the stereotypes about teaching in the city. In more than twenty-five provocative selections, each of which is introduced and set in context by Ayers and Patricia Ford, an all-star cast of educators and writers explores the surprising realities of city classrooms from kindergarten through high school. Contributors including Gloria Ladson-Billings, Lisa Delpit, June Jordan, Lewis Lapham, Audre Lorde, and Deborah Meier move from the poetic to the practical, celebrating the value of city kids and their teachers. Useful both as a guide and a call to action for anyone who teaches or has taught in the city, it is essential reading for those contemplating teaching in an urban setting and for every parent with children in a city school today. "Hopeful, helpful discussions of culturally relevant teaching... moving illustrations of what urban teaching is all about. An inspiring collection." —Publishers Weekly "With its upbeat mix of ready-to-share city kids' memoirs and classroom strategies, this book is an inspiring resource for veteran teachers, parents, community members, and students." —Educational Leadership "You'll feel sad, angry, hopeful, agitated, and inspired." —NEA Today "City Kids, City Teachers has the potential to create genuine change in the learning, teaching, and administration of urban public schools." —Library Journal

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