Winner of the Jackie Kirk Award
Winner of the AESA Critics’ Choice Award
“Blazes new trails in the study of the lives of girls, challenging all of us who care about justice and gender equity not only to create just and inclusive educational institutions but to be unapologetically feminist in doing so. Seamlessly merging research with the stories and voices of girls and those who educate them, this book reminds us that we should do better and inspires the belief that we can. It is the blueprint we’ve been waiting for.”
—Brittney C. Cooper, author of Eloquent Rage
“Nuamah makes a compelling and convincing case for the development of the type of school that can not only teach girls but also transform them…An essential read for all educators, policymakers, and parents invested in a better future.”
—Joyce Banda, former President of the Republic of Malawi
This bold and necessary book points out a simple and overlooked truth: most schools never had girls in mind to begin with. That is why the world needs what Sally Nuamah calls “feminist schools,” deliberately designed to provide girls with achievement-oriented identities. And she shows how these schools would help all students, regardless of their gender.
Educated women raise healthier families, build stronger communities, and generate economic opportunities for themselves and their children. Yet millions of disadvantaged girls never make it to school—and too many others drop out or fail. Upending decades of advice and billions of dollars in aid, Nuamah argues that this happens because so many challenges girls confront—from sexual abuse to unequal access to materials and opportunities—go unaddressed. But it isn’t enough just to go to school. What you learn there has to prepare you for the world where you’ll put that knowledge to work.
A compelling and inspiring scholar who has founded a nonprofit to test her ideas, Nuamah reveals that developing resilience is not a gender-neutral undertaking. Preaching grit doesn’t help girls; it actively harms them. Drawing on her deep immersion in classrooms in the United States, Ghana, and South Africa, Nuamah calls for a new approach: creating feminist schools that will actively teach girls how and when to challenge society’s norms, and allow them to carve out their own paths to success.
Nuamah presents extensive research on the educational challenges that still exist for
girls…Her solution is ‘feminist schools,’ designed to foster ‘achievement-oriented identities’ in all students and teach skills like self-confidence, moral fortitude and bravery. Nuamah’s earnest writing style and persuasive research will leave you wondering not why, but when we should start constructing such schools.
Deeply inspiring. Nuamah introduces us to exceptional schools in the United States, Ghana, and South Africa, takes us into the lives of determined Black girls, and shows us how to produce hope through teaching the key skills of confidence, strategy, and transgression. This book holds profound lessons for students, parents, and educators.
This book provides a timely and much-needed discussion on the status of girls’ education. The recommendations and strategies that Nuamah provides throughout are concrete actions that scholars, practitioners, and policymakers can take up to support girls’ learning and positive life trajectories.
How Girls Achieve makes an urgent case for feminist schools: anti-sexist and anti-racist schools in which the most marginalized are encouraged not only to do well academically, but also to transgress social norms and to disrupt the status quo. Drawing on ten years of research across three countries, Nuamah demonstrates the limitations of educational solutions that emphasize individual resilience and provides compelling examples of institutional changes that can dismantle systemic racial and gender barriers and make schools safe and empowering places at which girls can become agents of social change.
Sally Nuamah’s How Girls Achieve blazes new trails in the study of the lives of girls, challenging all of us who care about justice and gender equity not only to create just and inclusive educational institutions but to be unapologetically feminist in doing so. Seamlessly merging research with the stories and voices of girls and those who educate them, this book reminds us that we should do better and inspires the belief that we can. It is the blueprint we’ve been waiting for.
If you’re not already conscious about how gender shapes life outcomes and access to opportunity, then this book will help you. Sally Nuamah is a fierce advocate for girls’ educational rights and access to quality schooling without the reproduction of narrow gender constructions that marginalize them and impede their chances to step into their full realization as beings. How Girls Achieve is on a dynamic mission that reveals and compels.
Nuamah makes a compelling and convincing case for the development of the type of school that can not only teach girls but also transform them. In so doing, she offers not only a chronicling of problems but also a vision forward. An essential read for all educators, policymakers, and parents invested in a better future.
Research shows that schools are the most important institutions for improving life trajectories of the disadvantaged. How then,…Nuamah asks, can we transform schools to more equitably serve girls?...Her clear prose and approachable style make this a book for a broad audience.
When girls achieve, economies, global systems, and institutions achieve, making winners of us all. This is the crux of this carefully analyzed, inspirational book informed by Nuamah’s passion to tell girls’ stories. This book will impact education, equality, and the exigencies of life for girls worldwide.
[An] incisive work that examines how schools could become safer and more equitable places for black female and nonbinary students.
This book is a must read for every woman.
Makes a compelling case that, to achieve the prosperity that comes with effective school environments, girls deserve feminist schools that aim to diminish the unequal experiences girls endure while endeavoring to simultaneously construct and achieve a solution to gender inequality.
- 2020, Winner of the PROSE Awards
- 2020, Winner of the Jackie Kirk Outstanding Book Award
- 2020, Joint winner of the AESA Critic's Choice Book Award
- 216 pages
- 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
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