In-Person Event: Joanne Golann at University of PennsylvaniaScripting the Moves

Immersing readers inside a “no-excuses” charter school, Scripting the Moves offers a telling window into an expanding model of urban education reform. Based on 18 months of fieldwork and over 120 interviews, Joanne Golann presents a fascinating, sometimes painful, account of how no-excuses schools use scripts to regulate students and teachers. She shows why scripts were adopted, what purposes they serve, and where they fall short. What emerges is a complicated story of the benefits of scripts, but also, their limitations in cultivating the tools students need to navigate college and other complex social institutions—tools such as flexibility, initiative, and ease with adults. Contrasting scripts with tools, Golann raises essential questions about what constitutes cultural capital—and how this capital might be effectively taught.