Very few issues are as important as education today and Dr. Coleman weds extant research with personal experiences to provide a contextual framework from which the reader can garner a more intense understanding of the issues. She covers such issues as parental involvement, academic achievement, teacher attitude, discipline, student motivation, and the impact of social problems on the education process and student achievement. The discourse evolves around five underlying themes: education is a partnership, perceptions and attitudes dictate our behavior, knowledge creates understanding and understanding creates change; there are different ways of knowing and educators must expand their pedagogy to acknowledge and respond to the varied learning styles of students. Because of the many social problems that impact the lives of students, there is a need to redefine what it means to be a teacher and educate the whole child.
The author presents the issues from different perspectives, emphasizing the need for home, school and community to work together to advance the educational agenda for all children. Dr. Coleman offers an action plan for change and sends a clear message that by combining efforts, schools, homes and communities can affect change.