Generational Shift?

By Anthony Rebora — April 26, 2010 1 min read
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Washington Post education columnist Jay Mathews sees Doug Lemov’s much-discussed book, Teach Like A Champion: 49 Techniques That Put Students on the Path to College, as the expression of a new generation of teachers:

Our urban public schools have many teachers in their twenties and thirties who are more impatient with low standards and more determined to raise student achievement than previous generations of inner city educators, having seen some good examples.

These younger teachers are also, according to Mathews, frustrated by the emphasis on theory over practice in teacher training.

But is this really an age thing? I haven’t read Lemov’s book, but I’m inclined to think that a lot of the recent interest in effective teaching practice—see professional learning teams, lesson study, teaching academies, etc.—extends across generations (perhaps appealing to certain types of teachers, as opposed to different age ranges). And I’ve certainly never heard a veteran teacher say they simply loved all the theory they got in ed. school. Indeed, it seems like I’ve heard a number of them say they didn’t know how to teach until they had at least a couple of years on the job.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.