Wednesday, May 8, 2019

It's What They Learn, but It's Also How We Teach - Teacher Habits

It's What They Learn, but It's Also How We Teach - Teacher Habits

It’s What They Learn, but It’s Also How We Teach


The tide, it appears, may finally be starting to change. After a generation of test-centered accountability for teachers, the state of Maine has passed a law that removes a requirement that standardized test scores be used to evaluate teachers. I suspect more states will follow, if for no other reason than all educational trends eventually fall out of favor when we realize the old ways maybe weren’t so terrible after all.
No matter what other states do, the question will remain: How do we fairly evaluate the performance of teachers? There is no easy answer, and it’s largely because there are two competing beliefs about how to identify good (and bad) teaching.
I read two articles in the last couple of days that illustrate the tension at the center of teacher evaluations. The first was written by Alfie Kohn way back in 2008, but its message is often repeated today. In It’s Not What We Teach; It’s What They Learn, Kohn asserts that “what we do doesn’t matter nearly as much as how kids experience what we do.” He provides a number of examples, explaining that it doesn’t matter what an adult intends if a child interprets the adult’s words or actions differently. Kohn writes:
“We may think we’re emphasizing the importance of punctuality by issuing a detention for being late, or that we’re CONTINUE READING: It's What They Learn, but It's Also How We Teach - Teacher Habits

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