Teacher Educators are Teachers First by Practicing What They Teach

Teacher Educators are Teachers First by Practicing what they Teach.

This is the first of several posts that will be published here about the art of teacher education.  There is a rich body of research on teacher education, and I will make use of recent work that shows that teacher education is a vibrant and energetic field that is being led by a new cadre of educators who are willing to get out there and do it.… Read more

What Sort of Teacher Preparation Programs Does the Gates Foundation Support?

Did you know that between 2008 and 2013, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided more than $37 million in funding for teacher preparation projects?

What sort of teacher preparation programs does the Gates Foundation support?

Only 8% of these funds were awarded to university teacher education programs. Ninety-two percent of the grant money was awarded to corporations including The New Teacher Project (TNTP) and Teach for America (TFA).  Michelle Rhee, a former Teach for America cadet, and former Chancellor of the D.C.… Read more

What is Georgia’s Race to the Top Plan for New Teachers?

What is the Georgia Race to the Top (RT3) Plan for New Teachers?

Teach for America

The simple answer is to hire inexperienced and uncertified teachers through contractual arrangements with Teach for America, a political action organization that provides boot camp summer training for college graduates from élite universities.  After five weeks of training, with little to no “student teaching,” these young persons are then dropped into a variety of schools.  For Georgia, most of the TFA cadets are hired by school districts in the metro-Atlanta area.  … Read more

How Georgia Could Turn Around Turnaround Schools

Georgia, like other states, has identified schools whose students and teachers have been labeled failures on the basis of high-stakes tests. These tests measure the narrowest and possibly the least important aspects of schooling, namely the ability to answer multiple choice questions on the lowest level of content in math, or science, social studies or English language arts.

I argue here that curriculum development and advanced sabbatical month-long staff seminars in the context of the elimination of high-stakes tests would do more to help struggling schools than punishing them.  … Read more

Georgia’s Turnaround Plan: Hire TFA and TNTP Cadets

Like all states that were winners in the Race to the Top (RT3) competition, Georgia’s scope of work entails four “project” areas: (1) standards and assessment (2) data systems (3) great teachers and leaders and (4) turn around the lowest achieving schools.

In this post, I am going to look at the fourth goal of the Georgia’s RTT, how they plan to turn around low achieving schools.

According to the Georgia Race to the Top plan,

  • Georgia identified 40 middle and high schools that are considered “persistently lowest-achieving” based on historical student achievement and student need.
  • Read more

Is Inquiry The Magnum Principium of Teaching?

Seventh Article in the Series, The Artistry of Teaching

Is Inquiry the Magnum Principium of Teaching?  If it is, what is it and how does it help us understand teaching, especially if we want to explore artistry in teaching.

In our view inquiry is the sin qua non of experiential teaching and learning.  When teachers advocate inquiry, they are talking about a philosophy of teaching and learning that is rooted in social constructivism and humanism.  Inquiry evokes a sense of wonder, the subject of a book written by Rachel Carson, but published posthumously more than three decades ago.… Read more

The Art of Mingling Practice and Theory in Teaching

This article is the Fourth in a series on The Artistry of Teaching.  

In 1896, the laboratory school of the University of Chicago opened its doors under the directorship of John Dewey (Fishman and McCarthy 1998).  Dewey’s idea was to create an environment for social and pedagogical experimentation.  Theory and practice should mingle, and the laboratory school as Dewey conceived it would be a place for teachers to design, carry out, reflect on, and test learner-centered curriculum and practice.… Read more