Jackson's "Life In Classrooms" seems to key off the acknowledgement of a teacher, or someone who is fairly familiar with the happenings of an educator's classroom. Interestingly, the new "reissued" version of the text presents the worthwhile introduction of an ethnographer who discloses how he found himself threaded into the environments of a classroom. Ironically, the introduction is also amongst one my favorite parts of the book. It was here where I discovered that Jackson wasn't simply aiming his scientific rhetoric at the vulnerable target of education. In fact, with regards to his previous ethnographic duties, he implies slight humor when describing them as "boring." In essence, that initial slanted unintended deception between the teacher and the ethnographer is disregarded due to his honest, raw like narration.
In his initial chapter as an outsider looking in, Jackson's semi-scientific observations of teachers, students, and schools were defined via comparisons with societal or indirect, non-academic institutions. Such comparisons portray a gloomy, philosophical parallelism of schooling where individual desires are restrained and teachers play prison guards in jail-like buildings. Yet, whereas the initial chapter stimulates heartfelt recognitions of public schooling, the following two chapters were fairly repetitive or scaffolding-ly "common" to maintain the same interest. Here, Jackson presents the numerical results of student surveys showing how they felt about school and their teachers. Regardless, initial descriptions and results of children's interest in schools did garner my curiosity where despite the text's context of the late 1960's, I found some similarities in modern schooling.
Also, the next chapter portrays a specified glimpse into the minds of recognized teachers and their perspectives about teaching. Without disclosing any previews about the text, I will simply acknowledge how observing other teachers views of curriculum and instruction is encouragingly motivating. Through their interviews, readers, particularly educators, may identify and make connections amidst similar philosophies, including the school culture, environment, testing, and assessment.
Of course, the book is a classic, and perhaps specific sections seem outdated, as noted in the last chapter. This section delineates the connection between learning theory and educational practice as well as areas that position teachers as being possibly ignorant and detached from scholarly educational theory. Consequently, many of the perspectives in this chapter have at present been considered, researched and presented. Regardless, like previous chapter, it helps keep the mind fresh as to the theories and considerations that help drive pedagogical practice.
Whereas the book observes "Life in the Classrooms" from an ethnographic point of view, Jackson's studies imply essences of action and reform that would engage the scholarly researcher, teachers, students and anyone interested in the vigors of the classroom.