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ERIC Number: EJ1063852
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0148-432X
Quieting the Teacher Wars: What History Reveals about an Embattled Profession
Goldstein, Dana
American Educator, v39 n1 p14-17, 43 Spr 2015
This article is excerpted from Marshall Project staff writer and author, Dana Goldstein's 2014 book, "The Teacher Wars: A History of America's Most Embattled Profession." It begins by describing Goldstein's experience traveling as an education reporter in the late 2000s and the incredible amount of political scrutiny under which the teaching profession was forced to operate. The article goes on to explore why American teachers are both hated and idealized, when teachers in other nations are much more universally admired. It notes that Americans have debated who should teach public school, what should get taught, and how teachers should be educated, trained, hired, paid, evaluated, and fired. Though the nation has been arguing about these questions for two centuries, very little consensus has developed. Amid these teacher wars, many extraordinary men and women worked in public school classrooms and offered powerful, grassroots ideas for how to improve American education. Henry David Thoreau, Susan B. Anthony, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Lyndon B. Johnson are just a few of the famous Americans who taught. These teachers' stories, and those of less-well-known teachers, propel this history forward and help the nation understand why American teaching has evolved into such a peculiar profession, one attacked and admired in equal proportion. The article concludes that education reformers today should learn from the mistakes of history. There must be less focus on how to rank and fire teachers and more on how to make day-to-day teaching an attractive, challenging job that intelligent, creative, and ambitious people will gravitate toward. The teacher wars must be quieted and teachers must be supported in improving their skills and the profession.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A