The Contested Classroom Space: A Decade of Lived Educational Policy in Texas Schools Academic Article uri icon


  • In this article, examples excerpted from research studies conducted in Houston, Texas, the fourth largest city in the United States, are used to demonstrate how the discretionary classroom space where teachers and students actively live curriculumguided, though, not controlled, by official documents and administrative oversighthas become increasingly disputed. Through meta-level narrative analysis, excerpts from several accounts that elucidate different manifestations of the contested classroom space in multiple school contexts are woven together. In the process, the ways that teachers, principals, parents, professors, consultants, district personnel, the media, researchers, and students contributed to the contentious environment are explicated. Also, versions of curriculum and instruction that increased the contestation are named. As a result, changes that teachers and students lived in classrooms from 1997 to 2007, the decade when educational policy making in Texas served as the prototype for the U.S. No Child Left Behind Act, are characterized.

published proceedings

  • American Educational Research Journal

author list (cited authors)

  • Craig, C. J.

citation count

  • 42

complete list of authors

  • Craig, Cheryl J

publication date

  • December 2009