There can be many reasons for failure in school such as a feeling of helplessness, a lack of personal responsibility, inadequacies of schools or parents, and the influence of TV and movies. There are educational handicaps which are addressed on several pages of this site.
In the USA, educational reform needs to address the lack of respect for teachers, parents, and for discipline. Civility can decrease anger and other self-defeating behaviors. Civililty can lend itself to empowerment in learning abilities.
Some children have effectively blocked educational improvements with this attitude: "You can't teach me nothing!" Peers sometimes pressure students with an anti-education attitude. Sometimes, parents and teachers have been unreasonable, even hostile. If this happens in front of the children, this has a very damaging effect on academic achievements. There is negative power in negative thinking and positive power in positive thinking.
These topics are addressed by books in several categories of the LAB bookstore. Here are some books which belong in more than one group.
If you are concerned about the influence of TV, here is a great alternative. These activities are quick and easy with little or no equipment.
One reviewer at amazon.com states, "If you buy just one book about Special Education this year, this should be the one!".
On my page titled, Students with Self-control vs Teacher Control, you can read about peace circles, personal responsibility, quality school work, the role of behaviorism, a delightful spoof on behaviorism by someone named Watson, and a message about school shootings which was written by the father of one of the Columbine victims.
For information about the effect of memory and motivation on education, visit Lesson Plans.