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Archive for January, 2011

Does your teaching situation make student learning more difficult?

We know that not all teachers are alike and neither are their classrooms and students. Mary Kennedy (2010) writes in her article “Attribution error and the quest for teacher quality, in Educational Researcher, 39(8), pp. 591-598, about how the situation of classrooms can affect “teacher quality.”

In discussing the “parameters of teachers’ work, Dr. Kennedy┬ánotes that there is significant variability in teachers’ available planning time complicated by “time-consuming noninstructional activities”, materials available, work assignments, and value-added measures of student achievement.

The case is made that teacher practices do make a difference in student learning but also need to account for situation characteristics and not just teacher characteristics.

What I find particularly interesting is her comment that “teachers can suffer from reform fatigure…Most reforms distract teachers from the core of their work, forcing them to stop thinking about science or history and to think instead about scheduling, grouping, or recordkeeping.”

What gets in your way of teaching most?

How many different subjects do you teach?

How many extracurricular responsibilities do you have?

How much planning time do you have per day?

Have you ever experienced “reform fatigue?”

Do you agree that teacher quality depends on your teaching situation?

If you are interested in this topic, you might also be interested in my blog page under TEACHER DUTIES.