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ERIC Number: EJ934722
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 0
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0145-9635
Morbidity and Mortality: Building the Culture for Professional Growth and Innovation
Howland, Jonathan
Independent School, v70 n4 Sum 2011
Like their counterparts in law and medicine, teachers are professionals whose habits and techniques and strategies--whose "practices"--must be derived and customized and refined from a panoply of available prospects. So, while there are surely some pedagogies they might gather under the umbrella of "worst practices," one effective teacher's "best practices" might look quite different from another's. The variables, of course, include context (grade level, class size, type of school) and subject, but they also include a teacher's distinctive aesthetic--his or her values, personality, and character. The "best practices" movement, if there is such a thing, owes its legitimacy and cache to the prospect that effective teaching techniques, like those in the courtroom or the operating room, are drawn more or less from a common quiver, and that great teaching is not the consequence of force of personality and passionate commitment so much as it is about selecting the right arrow--or rather arrows. However reductive the author finds the "best practices" label, he is compelled by the notion that teaching involves a set of strategies and methods that can be designed and developed, tested and reflected upon, honed and refined. Indeed, nothing in his view is more elevating and "professionalizing" to teaching than the invitation to join the ranks of adults who are called and committed to expanding and improving this slate of effective pedagogies. Those in education could learn a thing or two, for instance, from the ways those in the medical "industry" have in the last century shepherded new discoveries, understandings, technologies, and practices in ways that have transformed the practice of medicine and substantially improved outcomes. A corollary consequence: doctors and hospitals have professionalized their profession and created a compelling field for many of the brightest, most inquiring and energetic young people coming out of colleges and universities. In this article, the author discusses six commitments to professionalize the profession of teaching that can also give the elasticity, information, and intelligence requisite to building schools for the future.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A