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Vested education interests now seek to make the monopoly even more To Build a Better Teacher: The Emergence of a Competitive Education Industry.
Table of contents

Practically every educational fad of the last eighty or so years has been a variant of this approach. It works, but only under ideal circumstances. Teachers know that there is a problem. Despite their varied situations and backgrounds, the teachers Holland interviews see a disconnect between the training they receive and the realities they confront in the classroom. All recognize that classroom realities require them to manage student learning and behavior to a far greater extent than theory suggests.

Of particular importance to policymakers, Holland explains how schools of education, state and national accrediting bodies, and teacher licensure agencies effectively control access to the teaching profession and resist reform. As the system currently works, anyone who would become a teacher has to undergo indoctrination in teacher-as-facilitator theory.

Especially useful is his account of the battle between the forces of change and defenders of the status quo. Both call themselves reformers. Defenders of the status quo, however, want to improve the current system through greater centralization and control while those who want change seek decentralization and the emergence of alternatives to the teacher-as-facilitator orthodoxy. Holland compares the clash to the struggle for baseball supremacy between the NY Yankees and the upstart Arizona Diamondbacks.

Holland discusses policy alternatives as well as the advantages of training practices such as "mentoring" as a means of bringing new teachers online. Equally useful is his discussion of value-added assessment as a means of monitoring teacher performance. Unlike many proponents of teacher accountability, Holland recognizes the huge advantage of tracking the value-added achievement gains of individual students rather than simply comparing test score averages for comparable groups.

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In the end, Holland suggests that teacher preparation and public school outcomes could be substantially improved by mixing New Jersey's teacher certification policies with Tennessee's value-added accountability system. Both are tried and proven. Agree or disagree, Holland's case is well put and clearly worth a read. I work in the human resource department of a large school system in Virginia. After reading this book I have a new perspective on my job. Holland makes some very valid points and has me rethinking the way our school district hires teachers.

Teachers should read this book to see that there are alternatives to traditional public education and that while NCLB will change things for them, all is not lost. So even if you disagree with the theory Mr. Holland present, reading this book should open your mind to the different approaches to the public vs. Again, an insightful book that you should read if you are in the education field in any manner.

There's a problem loading this menu right now. Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. Vested education interests now seek to make the monopoly even more controlling by requiring that all teachers be products of education schools accredited by a single national agency dedicated to progressive ideals. Holland proposes an alternative vision compatible with the emerging 21st-century paradigm of a competitive education industry: Lower unnecessary barriers to teaching so that bright persons of diverse background and disposition can become teachers.

Editorial Reviews

Set up an alternative track--as in New Jersey--so that bright liberal arts graduates or persons with valuable real-world experience can be hired as teachers and put under the supervision of experienced mentors. It is harder when you're an adult to go back and learn these things if you haven't got those basics. I think it's a really big problem. But doesn't this also mean tackling some teachers' expectations?

Their expectations of some working-class children are very low. Guy Claxton Part of the problem is that vocational education gets associated with lack of "academic ability". That association between brain work equals intelligence and hand work equals unintelligent really needs to be peeled apart. Melissa Benn I think there's a real emerging contradiction in this discussion between these really imaginative, cutting-edge ideas, and the agenda which is this very s, sitting in rows, Latin mottos and all the rest.

Peter Hyman I think education must be the only industry where people think it's good to go back to 50 or 60 years ago. I mean, can you imagine it in medicine if people said, "Well, actually, I want the treatments of the s: While we're all talking about a bold view of education, at the same time we're having cuts to educational maintenance allowance, cuts to the enrichment fund, cuts to all sorts of facilities.

How does that square up? Guy Claxton Of course, if you take resources away it's going to make innovation more difficult.

But the real ingredients that will shift schools is not lots of money or changing structures, it's trying to fire the imagination,. Melissa Benn In my own children's school they have lost thousands and thousands of pounds in funding. You have a comprehensive that has improved enormously and is very imaginative in all sorts of things being thrown back, not quite to square one, but having a more difficult time. So I think there's again a political problem there. Rachel Wolf I don't think money is the answer.

There's been enormous extra investment in schools over the last decade. Now some of it has helped. But actually I think it has diverted attention from what does transform learning, which is great teachers. Sue Street Partly you're right but I also think money needs to be targeted a little bit more at the wrap round services.

Meaning, for example, after-school homework clubs, provision of extra activities, life-changing activities. I took a group of army cadets out into the middle of West Sussex from central London on a Duke of Edinburgh expedition and it was the first time they had really seen a cow and had to cross a field with a cow [in it]. That is an experience that is actually going to stay with them for life.

But boy, did they learn how to be resilient and resourceful, especially when cooking in the rain and those sorts of things. A school can't afford that. Where also the money needs to be targeted is work with social services in our most vulnerable learners, because trying to get action at a rate that is actually going to do something for that child is virtually impossible.

The next thing is we have got generational educational failure. We have got parents who didn't do very well at school who are actually scared to walk through the door of a school. That is where it becomes so difficult for schools to engage those parents to support their child. Melissa Benn I think a lot of what you're saying needs to be done is done in good comprehensives, in good community schools. It's a signal that something isn't right. Melissa Benn Nobody is saying that there aren't areas where there needs to be improvement.

It's how you improve it. Do you improve it by putting government resources and political energy into setting up new schools outside the maintained sector or do you perhaps find ways where you make the improvements? But you don't do it outside the common weal. Local authorities are a very useful central resource for all sorts of things for schools.

How do we make our schools fit to face the 21st century?

Is that still going to exist in terms of free schools and academies or is that going to become more and more undermined? Rachel Wolf I just wanted to raise a couple of things that I've come across in the States which I think are very interesting on the teacher effectiveness point. One is around charter schools, which are the model for free schools.

The biggest group behind charter schools has been groups of teachers and people in education who have felt often that the public schools in very deprived areas haven't been approaching things in the right way. These schools are now basically taking over teacher training. And they have incredibly intense feedback groups between schools, videoing principals across schools. They are doing a lot of work analysing their pupil populations and how teaching works best with them. And I think one of the reasons that's happening is because you have given teachers more freedom to go and set up their schools and do things differently.

The other interesting thing is they've started trying to measure individual teacher effectiveness. In fact, the LA Times tried to print a list of all of the teachers in the area and how much value-add they were creating. Now there are all sorts of problems with that. Melissa Benn I think that's appalling, publishing the names of teachers. I was talking to someone who teaches year six, the Sats year in primary school, and he was saying, "This year I will be deemed a failure as a teacher because I have a completely different class to the one I had last year, which was full of bright, motivated [children from] a more socially mixed class.

Peter Hyman The model that I think will be moved to because they have to, and it may work and may not, is a sort of New York model, where you've got a powerful commissioning authority with someone who is genuinely willing to hold the schools to account. How do we ensure resources are equitable, we're all measuring the same things and best practice is acknowledged and replicated?

Guy Claxton Teachers as we know from many decades are past masters and mistresses at subverting things that they are told to do, but they don't buy. You have to get that buy-in.

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Sue Street [We also need] the guarantee that that is not going to change every two years, because that's another huge thing. It takes two years to even start to embed practice and learning.

To Build A Better Teacher The Emergence Of A Competitive Education Industry

Because we're all human. It takes five years in a school to see the results. And if you're changing every two to three years there is an amount of goodwill that is lost every time something changes. It'd be great if we could get all political parties to agree exactly what we've been doing round the table.

What are the important things?

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Let's write a schemer. Standardisation is what is needed. Melissa Benn It's a very interesting idea to draw up common objectives and a broad curriculum. The centralised curriculum was introduced by a Tory government in the late eighties and that was very prescriptive. I would like to see actually a government that was less partisan and less determined just to see its particular project succeed and was more concerned with the whole education.

You feel that behind the scenes they just want these 24 schools to succeed. And all governments have done this. From the s onwards they've had their particular school that they … you know, the CTCs with the Tories, the city academies, they've all had good elements in them, but they've been set up against the maintained stock.

I'd like to see a national conversation about exciting changes in all schools rather than those of us who are not part of this project being told — look, this is where the future is. Peter Hyman The two big challenges? One we've talked quite a lot about is the curriculum and how we prepare students for the21st century. There's a big curriculum review going on.

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