Early years, Aleister Crowley, aged His mother, Emily Bertha Bishop, drew roots from a Devon and Somerset family, and was despised by her son, whom she described as "the Beast", a name that he revelled in. His father was particularly devout, and spent his time as a travelling preacher for the sect, and subjected his wife and son to a daily reading of a chapter from the Bible after breakfast.
In many districts, the gears of power are controlled by non-educators who don't have a clue. They madly embrace testing and data and data-driven instruction because they have not a single idea about how kids learn and how teachers teach and what conditions are necessary to promote teaching and learning.
This new breed also populates some of our nation's leading think tanks.
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Most of them have never taught; have never been in a classroom since they were students; know nothing of the history of education and nothing about research, but they know how to fix the nation's schools.
These assertions are true to some degree.
I can certainly compare such non-educators with educators who have never taught ESL students, who have never learned another language, and know nothing of the research on second language acquisition, but they believe that ESL students can become fluent in English in just a few years.
What Works in Teaching? At the same time, I can also understand why many could care less about the history of education and its research.
Just look at the reading wars of "whole language" vs. These different camps know educational history and research.
Yet, they—just like Ravitch and Meier—disagree on how to educate students. Or, if there is, it's Tutor tales module a essay scaffold apart by political and ideological clashes. Without a consensus among educators on what works and without consistent results, it's quite natural that non-educators will step into the fray with their own ideas of what might work.
And that doesn't always mean that they do not consult with educators or "don't have a clue. Instead, it means that the core of what works in teaching may be more a matter of common sense than than the insights of educational research, a common sense that says that the foundation of what works in teaching is a knowledge of subject matter and relationships of trust and respect between teachers and students.
They are going to push out all those experienced fogies, so that their newbies have no one to learn from, no one to show them the ropes, no one to help with knotty day-to-day problems. I posted on this before, but some research shows that Teach for America teachers are better than experienced teachers.
In Making a Differencewe read, The findings show that TFA teachers are more effective, as measured by student exam performance, than traditional teachers.
Moreover, they suggest that the TFA effect, at least in the grades and subjects investigated, exceeds the impact of additional years of experience, implying that TFA teachers are more effective than experienced secondary school teachers. The positive TFA results are robust across subject areas, but are particularly strong for math and science classes.
Apparently, the further the subject matter moves away from every day experience, as in the case of math and the sciences, the more important subject matter knowledge becomes in teaching. And apparently, subject matter knowledge is more important than knowing the history of education and its research.
For similar findings, see Teacher Quality.
Not that TFA teachers have no knowledge of pedagogical practice. Ravitch exaggerates the newbies not having someone to show them the ropes.
In recent years, TFA corps members have also engaged in on-going professional development activities provided by TFA and whatever other supports school districts provide new teachers. Now the average 3-credit semester course takes up 45 hours a semester.
Regardless of the training they receive, the research is clear on TFA teacher outperforming experienced teachers at the secondary level. It makes one wonder, as Stephen Downes did concerning these results, What does this say about the efficacy of teacher training? Or perhaps, we should wonder about the efficacy of teacher training provided by schools of education as compared to that provided by TFA.
What Works is Relationships and Attitude It would be easy to continue and pick holes in the rest of Ravitch's sound bites, but I'll leave that discussion for the comments already on her article. Instead, note that she says that Meier's success with small schools was due to her "singular passion" which is also likely a factor in the success of TFA teachers.
Standardization and bureaucratization fuel the very distrust they are aimed to cure. Meier practiced relationships of respect and trust, and had the attitude of a learner. Method without such relationships and attitudes will run into walls of resistance to learning.
This book reports on outstanding teachers from various disciplines across the university, including medical and law schools. Obviously, these professors did not have a background in educational history or research.
Yet they stood out. Here is a list of characteristics of teachers who stand out excerpts from pages Without exception, outstanding teachers know their subjects extremely well. Exceptional teachers treat their lectures, discussion sections, problem-based sessions, and other elements of teaching as serious intellectual endeavors as intellectually demanding and important as their research and scholarship.
Simply put, the best teachers expect "more. While methods vary, the best teachers often try to create what we have come to call a "natural critical learning environment. · Our project offers valuable insights about possible ways to improve electronic module design, about which learning outcomes might be most critical for our first-year students, and about how consultations might best be coordinated with modules.
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