cover image Beyond the Classroom

Beyond the Classroom

Laurence Steinberg. Simon & Schuster, $22 (224pp) ISBN 978-0-684-80008-0

America's inner-city schools are not the only ones in trouble, according to social scientist Steinberg, an authority on adolescent development. In 1985, he and his colleagues began ""the most extensive study ever conducted"" on forces in youngsters' lives that affect interest and performance in school in order to understand why students' commitment to school was apparently so tenuous. The results of their nationwide study, presented here in jargon-free, accessible language, indicate a widespread peer culture that demeans adolescents who are seriously engaged in their schooling and indifference on the part of parents to their children's academic achievement. Taking issue with school reform, Steinberg offers a different perspective where remedy will be found not in schools but in students' lives outside of school and in changed social and parental attitudes. Steinberg directs the Division of Developmental Psychology at Temple. Brown and Dornbush are social scientists at the University of Wisconsin and Stanford, respectively. (June)