You are here

The Productive High School

The Productive High School
Creating Personalized Academic Communities

February 2001 | 296 pages | Corwin

"This important book explores the fundamental reasons why our secondary schools look and work in the ways that they do, and synthesizes a substantial body of research in a highly readable form. It should be part of every secondary administrator's bookshelf and every university's preparation program."
Karen Seashore Louis, Professor and Director
Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement
College of Education and Human Development
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

A groundbreaking, research-based discussion on high school reform!

For too long, high school reform has been based on concepts and philosophies with no undergirding in solid research. Murphy and his colleagues have changed all that as they discuss how reform based on empirical evidence and a robust set of theories can create productive high schools for all students.

The authors focus on core technologies of learning and teaching, organizational systems, and the institutional linkages between schools and their environments. Using current research and case studies from successful schools, they show how to construct models of learning-driven school communities that encourage excellence. The analysis focuses on classroom dynamics of engaged learning and teaching and the necessary steps to create a personalized academic high school.

Key concepts cover:

  • Defining the learning imperative
  • Developing humanized and intellectual relationships for learning
  • Laying the groundwork for dynamic, adaptive change
  • Building linkages with home and family

The Productive High School offers a clear, concise understanding of what it will take to achieve meaningful learning. Practicing educators, parents, policymakers, researchers, and concerned citizens will find this a valuable and comprehensive resource of high school reform that works.

Formation of the American High School

Development of the Comprehensive High School

Institutionalization of the Comprehensive High School

High Expectations
Personal Support
Academic Autonomy
Anchoring Schools on a Clearly Defined Learning Imperative
Building Schools on Humanized, Intellectual Relationships for Learning
Nesting Schools in a Dynamic, Adaptive Local Culture for Change
Linking Schools with Home and Family
Explanation and Integration
Exploring the Theoretical Underpinnings of Research on the Productive High School


"This important book explores the fundamental reasons why our secondary schools look and work in the ways that they do, and synthesizes a substantial body of research in a highly readable form. It should be part of every secondary administrator’s bookshelf and every university’s preparation program." 

Karen Seashore Louis
Professor and Director, Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

"Educators rarely find so many thoughts so well organized and in a single volume...the combination of theory, research, and example is a strength of this book...the authors present a compelling vision of what high schools can be."

Paul Goldman
Associate Professor of Educational Leadership, University of Oregon
NASSP Bulletin

"Highly recommended for any educator in search of tips, tricks, and techniques for self improvement on the job." 

The Midwest Book Review
December 2001 issue

"This volume suggests powerful practice helpful for teachers, prospective teachers, and anyone with a vested interest in the contemporary public high school."

B. L. Nourie, Illinois State University
CHOICE, 2002

"The book should be useful to policy makers, teacher educators, administrators, schools, and communities planning for and working toward increased success and meaningful change in high schools. Its primary contribution is its potential to help schools understand why they are being encouraged to change in particular ways and what benefits they might expect from building on solid, empirical research."

Journal of Education for Students Place At Risk
Volume 8, Number 2, 2003

Purchasing options

Volume Discounts Available

contact corwin

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9780761977780
ISBN: 9780761977773

For instructors

This book is not available as an inspection copy. For more information contact your local sales representative.