Beyond TestingMeier, D. & Knoester, M. (2017).
Beyond testing: Seven assessments of students and schools more effective than standardized tests.
New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

The authors of this timely book argue that a fundamentally complex problem—how to assess the knowledge of a child—cannot be reduced to a simple test score. Beyond Testing describes seven forms of assessment that are more effective than standardized test results: (1) student self-assessments, (2) direct teacher observations of students and their work, (3) descriptive reviews of the child, (4) reading and math interviews with children, (5) portfolios and public defense of student work, (6) school reviews and observations by outside professionals, and (7) school boards and town meetings. These assessments are more honest about what we can and cannot know about children’s knowledge, skills, and dispositions, and are more adaptable to varying educational missions. The book includes a chapter by Ann Cook and Phyllis Tashlik about the New York Performance Standards Consortium.


Winner, 2017 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Gold Award in Education.                               
Winner, 2019 Critics’ Choice Book Award, presented by the American Educational Studies Association.

Review in Mid-Western Educational Researcher

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Democratic Education In Practice

Knoester, M. (2012).
Democratic education in practice: Inside the Mission Hill School.
New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

The Mission Hill School in Boston, MA was founded by MacArthur Award winner Deborah Meier and colleagues in 1997. It is a small public school that has rethought almost everything about the process of teaching and learning. This book richly describes and evaluates this high-achieving school and argues that democratic education is increasingly difficult in this era of testing and standardization and that a school such as Mission Hill must be continually thoughtful, innovative, and courageous in counteracting systemic inequality.

Winner, Noteworthy Book, presented by District Administration magazine.
Finalist, 2014 Outstanding Book Award, presented by AERA’s Qualitative Research SIG.

Review in Democracy and Education journal

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International_struggles_for_critical_democratic_education-332pxKnoester, M. (Ed.). (2012).
International struggles for critical democratic education.
New York, NY: Peter Lang.

This book describes struggles for educational equity and justice in Brazil, India, China, South Korea, Israel, and the United States. Contributors include: Assaf Meshulam, Min Yu, Wangari P. Gichiru, Mi Ok Kang, Matthew Knoester, Christopher B. Crowley, Latika Gupta, and Júlio Diniz-Pereira. Foreword written by Michael W. Apple.

Winner, 2013 Critics’ Choice Book Award, presented by the American Educational Studies Association.
Finalist, 2014 Jackie Kirk Outstanding Book Award, presented by the Comparative and International Education Society.

Review in International Review of Education

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159Meier, D.; Knoester, M. & D’Andrea, K. C. (Eds.). (2015).
Teaching in themes: An approach to schoolwide learning, creating community, and differentiating instruction.
New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

How do teachers and schools create meaningful learning experiences for students with diverse skills, abilities, and cultures? How can teachers authentically assess the learning of their students and build on their strengths and interests in ways that enrich the larger community? How can schools be turned into places where everyone is learning from each other? These are the big questions that guide the work of teachers at the well-known Mission Hill School in Boston and that are addressed in this book.Teaching in Themes will help schools incorporate a whole-school, theme-based curriculum that engages students across grade levels K-8. The authors provide detailed descriptions of four thematic units: What’s Baking? Learning Together about Bread and Bakeries, The Impact of Nature and Play, The Struggle for Justice: U.S. History Through the Eyes of African-Americans, and Astronomical Inquiries. Readers will see how teachers and students design ”emergent inquiries” within the themes and create artwork, music, presentations, and a variety of hands-on learning experiences that support differentiated instruction across the curriculum.

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