ERIC Number: ED273571
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Nov
Reference Count: 0
The Limits of Policies to Promote Teaching Excellence.
McLaughlin, Milbrey Wallin
A major lesson of the past decade's education reform measures and school improvement efforts is that educational change of almost any stripe is a problem of the smallest unit. It is a problem that turns on the incentives, attitudes, abilities, and responses of those ultimately responsible for seeing that initiatives for improvement translate into improved educational services for students. Teachers teaching in classrooms is what education is all about. Teachers teaching in classrooms determine the eventual result of reform policies; consequently, the spate of present policies that take direct aim at the competence of the teaching force must be assessed against the reality of the task. That reality encompasses the context within which teachers teach, the incentives to support professional growth and commitment to a teaching career, and the factors that affect a teacher's ability to respond to incentives, to develop professionally, and to aspire to excellence in classroom practice. This essay undertakes such an analysis by looking at the context, incentives, and constraints of teaching and then by examining some of the most popular teacher reform policies against this reality. A three-page bibliography concludes the document. (JD)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: American Educational Research Association, Washington, DC.
Note: Paper prepared for the American Educational Research Association Project: Research Contributions for Educational Improvement. For related documents, see ED 257 032, SP 026 402-404, and SP 026 406-411.