First, there’s hubris:
A clueless Harvard professor talks about how direct instruction works better, and how that’s too bad because “problem-solving classes… require less preparation and are easier to teach.” Happily, many comments on his piece take him on, as does Walt Gardner at Education Week. How can anybody even think about comparing their experiences in teaching a class in Harvard to teaching in a K-12 public school, much less write about it publicly?
Next, there’s some good plain talk on school reform:
Joe Nocera at The New York Times takes on school reformers in a column:
…school reform won’t fix everything. Though some poor students will succeed, others will fail. Demonizing teachers for the failures of poor students, and pretending that reforming the schools is all that is needed, as the reformers tend to do, is both misguided and counterproductive.
Over the long term, fixing our schools is going to involve a lot more than, well, just fixing our schools. In the short term, however, the reform movement could use something else: a dose of humility about what it can accomplish — and what it can’t.
I’m adding his column to The Best Places To Learn What Impact A Teacher & Outside Factors Have On Student Achievement.