ERIC Number: EJ870214
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 60
Haven't We Seen This before?: Sustaining a Vision in Teacher Education for Progressive Teaching Practice
Sherman, Shelley C.
Teacher Education Quarterly, v36 n4 p41-60 Fall 2009
In this article, the author addresses the challenge to teacher education programs to resist swings in the pendulum and help new teachers sustain progressive, responsive, school-based reform efforts that seek to address the unique needs of every student even as external demands for standardized measurements of learning remain firmly in place in the era of "No Child Left Behind." The author begins with the assumption that responsiveness to students cannot readily occur in standardized educational environments and that progressive practices, when implemented effectively, can, indeed, foster an individual student's growth in ways that are not easily achieved through a one-size-fits all curriculum. This paper is directed toward those who believe that the most responsive teaching occurs when teachers can attend to the individual student's needs by embracing progressive educational principles. Two curricular examples with potential for responsiveness to students, open education and differentiated instruction, are used to frame this discussion because they both aim to promote individual growth and meet students at their point of instructional need; both draw inspiration from progressive traditions in education. In today's standards-driven environment, advocates of differentiation ultimately may face challenges similar to those faced by open education proponents. The author elaborates further on the characteristics of each movement as the author brings their similarities into sharper focus as well as describe the challenges faced in sustaining their goals. The author presents a brief summary of the progressive roots of open education and differentiation and illustrates how the two initiatives are closely related. This background provides a context for the argument the author makes for emphasizing strong philosophical foundations in teacher education that support responsive teaching practice; focusing on developing competencies to help new teachers meet students' individual needs; and avoiding curricular buzzwords that are sometimes reduced to formulaic, short-lived practice.
Descriptors: Teacher Education, Open Education, Teacher Education Programs, Educational Principles, Educational Change, Individualized Instruction, Educational Practices, Teaching Methods, Intermode Differences, Instructional Effectiveness, Educational Development, Progressive Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001