Sunday, August 31, 2014

On Teachers Not Being Taught How to Teach

The Progressives are to blame of course.  But the story of how, why, and when it became the norm for teachers in the United States to be mostly ignorant in the art of teaching is the subject of a tremendous book review by Sol Stern currently available at the City Journal.  Stern reviews an important new book by Elizabeth Green entitled, "Building a Better Teacher: How Teaching Works (and How to Teach It to Everyone)".  Here's an excerpt from Stern's article:
As Green reveals, for most of the past century, education schools have contributed little to the task of “building a better teacher.” In her opening chapter, Green notes that “somehow all those Ed schools’ professors had managed to learn nothing about teaching.” Moreover, “the most prestigious among them—the elite education researchers—ignored teaching altogether.” Green asks: “How did this happen? How had an entire field come to neglect the work at its heart?”

It happened, in part, because the founders of the twentieth-century education schools—iconic figures like William James, Edward Thorndike, and John Dewey—were disinterested in the nitty-gritty of the classroom and thought little about how to improve methods of instruction.
A hat tip to my favorite blogger, Peter Cresswell, for this one.