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ERIC Number: EJ931211
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0148-432X
Building a Common Core for Learning to Teach: And Connecting Professional Learning to Practice
Ball, Deborah Loewenberg; Forzani, Francesca M.
American Educator, v35 n2 p17-21, 38-39 Sum 2011
Focusing directly on the development of instructional practice and its effects is not easy. One major shortcoming in the educational infrastructure has been the lack of a common curriculum. A second has been an impoverished approach to supporting teaching practice. These two are related, for any effort to develop and improve teaching is weakened when there is no agreement about what to teach. Taken together--no agreed-upon curriculum and no system for developing skilled teaching practice--hope for instructional improvement is slim. In this article, the authors propose a departure from inherited ideas about instruction and its improvement. Their proposal shifts away from individual "style" and open-ended "learning from experience" as the building blocks of practice, and emphasizes instead the importance of common professional standards. Given the strong individualistic culture that permeates teaching and learning to teach in the United States, why might a shift to shared specific standards for professional practice be possible? The Common Core State Standards, which specify a set of learning goals in mathematics and English language arts, represent a watershed for this country. They offer the possibility of a common foundation on which a stronger educational infrastructure could be built. And more Americans now understand that skillful teaching is crucial for students' success. Skillful teaching can make the difference between students being at the top of the class or the bottom, completing high school or dropping out. (Contains 14 endnotes.)
American Federation of Teachers. 555 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 202-879-4400; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A