- Publisher: Harvard Education Press
- Available in: Cloth, paper
- ISBN: 978-1682531327
- Published: February 27, 2018
Foreword by David C. Berliner
Demoralized: Why Teachers Leave the Profession They Love and How They Can Stay offers a timely analysis of professional dissatisfaction that challenges the common explanation of burnout. Featuring the voices of educators, the book offers concrete lessons for practitioners, school leaders, and policy makers on how to think more strategically to retain experienced teachers and make a difference in the lives of students.
Based on ten years of research and interviews with practitioners across the United States, the book theorizes the existence of a “moral center” that can be pivotal in guiding teacher actions and expectations on the job. Education philosopher Doris Santoro argues that demoralization offers a more precise diagnosis that is born out of ongoing value conflicts with pedagogical policies, reform mandates, and school practices. Demoralized reveals that this condition is reversible when educators are able to tap into authentic professional communities and shows that individuals can help themselves.
Detailed stories from veteran educators are included to illustrate the variety of contexts in which demoralization can occur. Based on these insights, Santoro offers an array of recommendations and promising strategies for how school leaders, union leaders, teacher groups, and individual practitioners can enact and support “re-moralization” by working to change the conditions leading to demoralization.
Teachers have a critical ally in Santoro, who argues that understanding demoralization is the first step to reclaiming the vitality of teaching. Today’s teachers are not burnt out; they are separated from their moral motivations—to the detriment of their students and the impoverishment of the profession.
— Barbara S. Stengel, associate chair for teacher education, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University
Doris Santoro has provided a timely and vital educational intervention. She demonstrates how today’s ‘accountability’ regime undermines the work of dedicated teachers and offers sensible strategies for reversing the damage. Demoralized is imaginatively framed, convincingly argued, and morally serious. I commend it to all who care about teaching and teachers.
— David T. Hansen, Weinberg Professor in Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Education, Teachers College, Columbia University
The stories and resources in Demoralized will resonate with teachers as our profession remains under siege. The teachers featured in this book will inspire and empower readers.
— José Vilson, teacher, blogger, and author of This Is Not a Test