ET-Learning Styles, cognitive theory, teaching, teacher assessment
Green, E. (2014). Building a better teacher: How teaching works (and how to teach it to everyone). New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company.
This book explores the history of efforts to transform teaching from ineffective rote methods to more creative approaches. It includes a discussion of the academic research leading to teaching reform beginning in the 1980s, and uses examples from classrooms to illustrate the differences between effective and ineffective methods. Engaging students, encouraging them to talk (using “academic discourse”) and then listening to them to determine their needs are areas of focus in each of the classroom stories detailed in the book. The focus is on improving the art of teaching, which, according to the author, is a skill that can be taught. I found this book fascinating and very readable, and very pertinent to classroom teachers and TLs alike.
Shananhan, T. (2013). Common core ate my baby. Educational Leadership, 70(4), 10-16.
Debunking myths about the common core state standards.
In his article, The Common Core at My Baby, Timothy Shananhan tackles some common fearful myths surrounding the common core state standards.
#1 New standards prohibit teachers from setting purposes for reading or discussing prior
Shananhan tells us that “preparation should be brief and should focus on providing students with the tools they need t make sense of the text on their own.”
#2 Teachers are no longer required to teach phonological awareness, phonics, or fluency.
“…the new standards require as much early emphasis on decoding and fluency as in the recent past, and claims to the contrary are no more than myths, not breaking from NCLB.
#3 English teachers can no longer teach literature in literature classes.
“Clearly, the new standards involve more than just reading novels, stories, poems, and plays and interpreting literary devices.” Students will need to do more reading in informational texts such as science or history.
#4 Teachers must teach students at frustration levels.
The CCSS “indicate specific levels of text difficulty that students must be able to handle by the end of each school year. These levels are considerably higher than current levels.”
#5 Most schools are already teaching to the new standards.
“Writing instruction will need to focus more on writing about the ideas in texts and less on just putting personal thoughts into words. At the same time, reading will involve more critical analysis and synthesis of information from multiple texts.”
Shananhan explains that we can either shift our practices now or we can wait to our communities find out how ‘well’ we’re really doing. (2013)