*** Building a Better Teacher by Elizabeth Green


Building a Better Teacher: How Teaching Works (and How to Teach It to Everyone) is a (recent) history of theories and practice of good teaching, focused on primary and secondary education. It’s not a very encouraging tale, as very little effort seems to have been placed on training new teachers, sharing the techniques of effective teachers, or even using robust evaluation techniques to test the effectiveness of different approaches. And some of the reform that have been implemented seem to have drilled teachers into a few non-essential changes rather than address the fundamental methods for engaging the students into the learning, or focused only on behavior issues and ignoring the longer-term effect of imposing overly docile deportment.

The book showcases a number of superb educators and their effort (not always successful!) to share their methods with others. There are close to 4 million teachers in the US: wouldn’t it be nice if they could all adopt the you-you’ll-we technique or any of the others described in the book — or at least have been exposed to them at some point during their training years?

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