Michigan???s ed school is on the Ball
According to Deborah Loewenberg Ball, dean of Michigan’s education school: “Teacher training in this country is in deep trouble.” Gadfly—and myriad other smart policymakers, education shops, and concerned citizens—couldn’t agree more. But Ball goes one further: This week, she’s unveiled TeachingWorks, a wing of the UMich ed school that will focus on “raising the standard for practice as a classroom teacher by transforming how teachers are prepared and supported.” While details of the initiative are still fuzzy, the skills that Ball seems to be pushing into education-school curricula—teaching educators to communicate with parents and manage small group work effectively—are a welcome change from the typical blather about Piaget and Paulo Freire. And the nineteen specific skills distilled by TeachingWorks should help bring some order to the unruly and cacophonous court of teacher preparation. If more education schools sign on to the initiative, we might even be looking at the beginnings of “common core” teaching standards. How novel.
“U. Mich. Project Scales Up 'High Leverage' Teaching Practices,” by Stephen Sawchuk, Education Week, October 24, 2011.
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