Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Is Teaching a Team Sport? | The Merrow Report

Is Teaching a Team Sport? | The Merrow Report:

Is Teaching a Team Sport?

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The bitter and contentious debate over Betsy DeVos means she is taking office as Secretary of Education with severely diminished influence. So, what might lie ahead?  Surely there will be charter school wars, because the movement is badly split between supporters of wide-open chartering and those who favor restrictions on for-profit  and virtual charter schools.  I will explore that in a subsequent post.  Today, because the world of teaching seems unified in its opposition to the new Secretary and because I believe that real change will only come from the bottom up, I want to explore what teachers might be FOR, going forward. Thus, I am reprinting “Is Teaching a Team Sport?” (originally posted November 2011).
I had an interesting conversation with Barnett Berry, the lead author of Teaching 2030, earlier this week. We covered the waterfront: how teaching has changed and is changing, whether schools of education were up the the challenges facing them, why so many teachers leave, and so on. You will have to wait for our PBS NewsHour piece — it’s in a quiz format, by the way — and the accompanying podcast to find out what the brilliant Mr. Berry believes, because right now I want to explore his final comment, over coffee after the cameras had been turned off.
“Teaching is a team sport,” he opined before rushing off to a meeting, leaving me wondering.
Is it? Who says so? And if it is, why are so many politicians and state governments rushing to support ways of measuring individual teachers?
And what’s a ‘team sport’ anyway?
Well, baseball is a team sport. We watched the Cardinals perform the near-impossible, and we saw that nearly everyone in a Cardinal uniform contributed to Is Teaching a Team Sport? | The Merrow Report:

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