Beyond the Classroom

beyond the classroomSchool reform has failed, according to this provocative book that challenges our assumptions about education. Despite a variety of innovative programs in school districts across the country, today’s students seem to perform more poorly than ever by almost every measurement. One reason, says Laurence Steinberg, is that we continue to believe that educators, and educators alone, hold the key to our children’s success in school. Beyond the Classroom identifies the real nature of the education crisis in America. It explains why some students succeed brilliantly while others founder and draws valuable lessons about the nature of successful parental and peer group support.

“With its careful and interesting interpretation of the role of ethnicity in education, its conclusion that parents and peers are more important than pedagogues, its searing critique of a nation that is in danger of losing its greatest asset--the conviction that hard works makes a difference--and its plausible steps toward educational health, Beyond the Classroom is an important book that proclaims important truths.” -- The Washington Post

 “A well-reasoned, clearly written contribution to the school reform debate.” -- The Philadelphia Inquirer

 “In a world that’s drowning in books about school reform, Laurence Steinberg’s Beyond the Classroom deserves to become far more influential than most.” -- The Detroit Free Press

 “Every parent, teacher, journalist, and school board member in America should read Beyond the Classroom. If we summoned the will to act on Dr. Steinberg’s sound recommendations, we could assure our nation’s children a better future.” -- Diane Ravitch, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education, 1991-93

“One of the important education books of the decade.” -- Albert Shanker, The New York Times

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Crossing Paths

crossing pathsAdolescence is a difficult time for teenagers, but it can also be a troublesome time for their parents - a time of profound and even life-altering change. In Crossing Paths, family-relations expert Dr. Laurence Steinberg examines the impact on parents of their children's adolescence - and finds that confusion and conflict are as common for parents as for teenagers. Based on the findings of Dr. Steinberg's study of more than 200 families, Crossing Paths explores the emotional turmoil that a child's adolescence can initiate in parents and recommends practical ways to avoid or lessen that turmoil. The conflicts arise from a curious coincidence: Just as children enter adolescence, their parents are generally entering middle age. While they watch their child blossoming into physical maturity and making plans for a lifetime of promise and potential, parents must confront newfound physical limitations and a life dividing almost equally into past and future. Not surprisingly, many parents experience feelings of jealousy, regret, or powerlessness at their children's growing independence; others take advantage of this time to rejuvenate their own lives. Illustrating his analysis with anecdotes drawn from the experiences of the families in the study, Dr. Steinberg discusses the four major factors that determine a parent's susceptibility to an adolescent-induced midlife crisis. Written with warmth, sensitivity, and insight, Crossing Paths shows parents how to get through the worst flash points of an adolescent-induced midlife crisis and how to make this time an opportunity for positive change.

"A sensible analysis of the turmoil that adolescence triggers within parents. . . . [Steinberg] offers practical coping advice, urging parents to be aware of their conflicting emotions, to modify their family relationships to fit their child's emerging independence, and to nurture personal interests that allow them some distance from parenting. A practical, solidly researched and documented parents'-eye view of adolescence." -- Kirkus Reviews

“Larry Steinberg is one of the first people I turn to when I need information about adolescent development. This book is a fascinating account of how parents are also affected by changes in their teenagers.” -- Lawrence Kutner, Parents magazine


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Adolescence 12e coverIn this thirteenth edition of Adolescence, the leading college textbook on the topic, Laurence Steinberg continues to utilize an effective combination of a friendly writing style, thorough research, and a contextual approach that emphasizes adolescence in contemporary society. The text's careful organization ensures maximum teaching flexibility that allows the chapters to work together to be covered in sequence or to stand alone. Ethnicity and race are thoroughly discussed in a way that enables students to see how the adolescent experience is shaped by class and culture. The strong pedagogical framework helps students organize and integrate material. Thoroughly updated to reflect current findings in the field, Adolescence is based on solid research and theory, yet it has a distinctively "real world" feel that emphasizes the reality of being an adolescent in today's society.

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Rethinking Juvenile Justice

rethinking2What should we do with teenagers who commit crimes? Are they children whose offenses are the result of immaturity and circumstances, or are they in fact criminals?

“Adult time for adult crime” has been the justice system’s mantra for the last twenty years. But locking up so many young people puts a strain on state budgets—and ironically, the evidence suggests it ultimately increases crime.

In this bold book, two leading scholars in law and adolescent development offer a comprehensive and pragmatic way forward. They argue that juvenile justice should be grounded in the best available psychological science, which shows that adolescence is a distinctive state of cognitive and emotional development. Although adolescents are not children, they are also not fully responsible adults.

Elizabeth Scott and Laurence Steinberg outline a new developmental model of juvenile justice that recognizes adolescents’ immaturity but also holds them accountable. Developmentally based laws and policies would make it possible for young people who have committed crimes to grow into responsible adults, rather than career criminals, and would lighten the present burden on the legal and prison systems. In the end, this model would better serve the interests of justice, and it would also be less wasteful of money and lives than the harsh and ineffective policies of the last generation.

"Scott and Steinberg, leading figures in juvenile law and adolescent developmental psychology, have joined forces to argue that now is the moment to reconstitute, in a completely original way, how America deals with juvenile crime and juvenile offenders. At once deeply learned and altogether pragmatic, Rethinking Juvenile Justice is one of the most transformative books this field has seen in the past 20 years. -- John Monahan, Shannon Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Virginia

"The subject of juvenile justice breeds extreme responses. The academic sensibility is extremely lenient, seeing misguided kids who need understanding and help more than punishment. The legal system is mindlessly punitive: juvenile defendants in the US are treated more harshly than adults elsewhere in the Western world. In the midst of this crazy conversation, Scott and Steinberg are voices of sanity. Their wholly novel approach to juvenile crime will make equal sense to judges, juvenile advocates, and urban police forces. This book is a terrific example of what speaking truth to power, effectively, looks like. -- William Stuntz, Harvard Law School

"This multidisciplinary book is exactly what policy makers should consult when thinking about ways to change a system that is in dire need of repair." -- D. S. Mann Choice, 2009-05-01

"What distinguishes this book from other writings in the field are not the proposals made, which are relatively modest, but rather the developmental sophistication with which they are defended. And in the end, the hard questions the book raises are not about juvenile justice policy, but rather about the interrelationship between law and science. Offering us the gold standard in legal-developmental collaboration, it presses us to consider the role the developmental sciences should play in shaping the law affecting children...What makes the book so valuable is that it can be relied upon by judges, legislatures, lawyers, and policymakers to enhance the sophistication with which they consider the very issues that they are currently being called on to decide. In this sense, Rethinking Juvenile Justice is a complete success. Lawmakers already look to Scott and Steinberg's earlier work when they address how the law should respond to juvenile crime, and this book should only enhance the sophistication of those lawmaking efforts...Rethinking Juvenile Justice promises to enhance the sophistication of those addressing juvenile justice policy on a broad range of issues." -- Emily Buss, University of Chicago Law Review, 2009-12-01

"[Scott and Steinberg] believe that new juvenile justice reforms that publicize available scientific developmental data and empirical data demonstrating savings in recidivism and costs due to keeping kids in the juvenile system will be successful. They believe that we can avoid the demolition of the courts or at least staunch the loss of so many young offenders from the courts' jurisdiction...This book is one of the very few works that provides legal and developmental analyses and offers politically savvy advice about implementing a successful legislative strategy...This is a book that everyone should read." -- Lucy S. McGough, Law and Politics Book Review, 2009-01-01