Information For:

Give back to HGSE and support the next generation of passionate educators and innovative leaders.

News & Events

Adolescent Identity

A New Book on Understanding a Key Element of Success at School

"This practical and readable book is an incredibly valuable addition to any educator's library. It should be required reading at our college and university schools of education. Sadowski has edited an excellent resource that will help teachers, administrators, counselors, and parents serve our young people better." --Bob Chase, President of the National Education Association, 1996-2002

"Adolescents at School is an extraordinary collection. I had a hard time putting it down. Each of these essays digs deeply and thoughtfully into a subject so vital to us all, with exactly the right balance between the personal, the anecdotal, and the research data. Every chapter is a critical read, with a powerful cumulative impact. This book will be central to staff and family discussions at schools everywhere." --Deborah Meier, Co-Principal, Mission Hill School, Boston, MA

As any teacher or parent knows, adolescence is a time when young people grapple with the question, "Who am I?" Issues of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, and ability often complicate this question for adolescents, affecting their schoolwork and their relationships with teachers, family, and peers.

Adolescents at School: Perspectives on Youth, Identity, and Education (Harvard Education Press / March 15, 2003 / $49.95 le / $24.95 pb) draws on the perspectives of teachers, researchers, and administrators--and adolescents themselves--as it examines the complex, changing identities young people manage as they confront the challenges of school.

Editor Michael Sadowski writes, "Amid the fast-paced, day-to-day world of schools, it is all too easy to lose sight of the fact that adolescents are what middle and high school education is all about. Getting to know more about this primary constituency, in all its fascinating complexity, is a crucial aspect of the work of educators, one that perhaps has a greater bearing on school performance than any other." Practical and jargon-free, Adolescents at Schoolbroadens and deepens our understanding of adolescents and provides educators with ideas and suggestions to help ensure the success of every student in our schools and classrooms.

Contents include

  • Why Identity Matters at School by Michael Sadowski
  • Identity and Possibility: Adolescent Development and the Potential of Schools by Michael Nakkula
  • "Joaquín's Dilemma": Understanding the Link between Racial Identity and School-Related Behaviors by Pedro Noguera
  • Listening to Minority Students by Thomas Fowler-Finn
  • Opening the Dialogue about Race at School by Beverly Daniel Tatum
  • Model Minorities and Perpetual Foreigners: The Impact of Stereotyping on Asian-American Students by Stacey J. Lee
  • "Desde entonces, soy Chicana": A Mexican Immigrant Student Resists Subtractive Schooling by Angela Valenzuela
  • "Who am I as a learner?": Would Boys and Girls Tend to Answer Differently? by Michelle Galley
  • Writing Their Way Through: Adolescent Girls and Note Writing by Theresa Squires Collins
  • "I am not insane; I am angry": Adolescent Masculinity, Homophobia, and Violence by Michael S. Kimmel
  • Male Adolescent Identity and the Roots of Aggression: A Conversation with James Garbarino by Darcia Harris Bowman
  • Growing Up in the Shadows: School and the Identity Development of Sexual Minority Youth by Michael Sadowski
  • Why Use That Word? Adolescents and Queer Identity by Arthur Lipkin
  • Who Wins and Who Loses? Social Class and Student Identities by Ellen Brantlinger
  • Class Identity in a Socioeconomically Diverse High School
  • The Impact of Disability on Adolescent Identity by Michael L. Wehmeyer
  • Making Their Own Way: The Perspectives of Three Young People with Disabilities by Michael L. Wehmeyer
  • Beyond Categories: The Complex Identities of Adolescents by John Raible and Sonia Nieto
  • From Understanding to Action by Michael Sadowski 

About the Editor

Michael Sadowski is Assistant Editor of the Harvard Education Letter and winner of the 2002 National Press Club Award for newsletter journalism. He is an instructor and advanced doctoral candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The Harvard Education Press, located at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, publishes innovative, authoritative books covering critical issues in education practice, policy, and research. Visit for more information or to read the book's introduction. For a review copy of Afterschool Education, please contact Karen Walsh at 617-384-7249.