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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Great Teachers Cannot Be Made | Education Week (blog)

Walt Gardner's Reality Check

Photo: Walt Gardner
"Great teachers are virtuosos who cannot be made by even the best schools of education." insist Walt Gardner, taught for 28 years in the Los Angeles Unified School District and was a lecturer in the UCLA Graduate School of Education. 

Few would disagree that the most important in-school factor in student learning is the teacher.  But where the argument goes wrong is assuming that greatness can be achieved by improving schools of education ("Teaching the teachers," The Economist, Jun. 11). 
I say that because there is a distinct difference between good and great teachers.  Overhauling how college graduates are trained to become classroom teachers will make mediocre candidates better, but it won't make them outstanding.  And grit has little to do with the matter because I believe that great teachers are virtuosos who possess unique abilities that defy emulation.  We can study them all day long - as we have - but in the end we cannot ever duplicate their achievements.  The same can be said about schools of music or art.  If that were not so, then such schools would be producing Beethovens and Rembrandts, respectively.  They have not, and they never will.

Source: Education Week (blog)

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