Harvard Educational Review
  1. Taking Note

    Improving Your Observational Notetaking Power

    By Brenda Miller Power

    York, ME: Stenhouse, 1996. 96 pp. $12.50 (paper).

    Taking Note: Improving Your Observational Notetaking is a "little handbook" filled with strategies to help teachers become more skillful observers of their students. Through specific techniques and practical information, Miller suggests ways for teachers to learn more carefully about their classrooms. Although the book is set in literacy classrooms, it offers techniques and information to all teachers who want to learn in depth about their students.

    Taking Note
    is a practical book, offering many samples of teacher records, suggestions for how to begin to take notes, and what to do with the information collected. Although the wealth of notetaking techniques may seem overwhelming at first, Miller's goal is not to suggest more work for teachers. Instead, she presents ways for teachers to record observations in systematic ways that simplify rather than complicate their lives. She says:

    I want this handbook to help you find more time for the things you care about (in and out of the classroom) and still find time to write more cogent and thoughtful notes and narratives about your students. I hope it helps you shift the ways you use the time you have. (p. 4)

    Specific topics include: getting started, setting goals, when to write, what to write, bringing it all together, and how to continue to hone skills as a notetaker by becoming part of a community of learners.

    Power's clear, lucid voice and sharp sense of humor make it an enjoyable book to read, as well as an informative resource for both seasoned and beginning teachers.

    M.H.
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    Abstracts

    Symposium
    The History of Women in Education
    Christine A. Woyshner, Bonnie Hao Kuo Tai
    Reflections on Writing a History of Women Teachers
    Kathleen Weiler
    Women and Education in Eritrea
    A Historical and Contemporary Analysis
    Asgedet Stefanos
    Reconsidering a Classic
    Assessing the History of Women's Higher Education a Dozen Years after Barbara Solomon
    Linda Eisenmann
    The African American Female Elite
    The Early History of African American Women in the Seven Sister Colleges, 1880-1960
    Linda M. Perkins
    The Hidden Half
    A History of Native American Women's Education
    Deirdre A. Almeida
    Conflicted Progress
    Coeducation and Gender Equityin Twentieth-Century French School Reforms
    Marilyn Mavrinac
    The Road to College
    Hmong American Women's Pursuit of Higher Education
    Stacey J. Lee

    Book Notes

    We Can't Eat Prestige
    By John Hoerr

    The Seed Is Mine
    By Charles van Onselen

    The Essential Piaget
    Edited by Howard E. Gruber and J. Jacques Vonëche

    Journey With Children
    By Frances P. Lothrop Hawkins

    Guided Reading
    By Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell

    One Child, Two Languages
    By Patton O. Tabors

    Taking Note
    By Brenda Miller Power