THE COMMON READER--FIRST

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Date of publication: 2017-09-02 04:27

For there is conflict in teaching it is a tension-filled, chancy process. Resistance to teaching occurs among pupils who are able and anxious to learn it occurs when teachers teach well. It is not confined to schools but frequently occurs in the informal teaching situations of everyday life, as everyone knows who has tried to teach a friend to drive a car.

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It is hard to say when learning to teach begins. From an early age, people are surrounded by teaching on the part of parents and teachers, and these early experiences with authority figures unconsciously shape teachers' pedagogical tendencies. The experience of elementary and secondary schooling has a particularly strong impact. From thousands of hours of teacher watching, prospective teachers form images of teaching, learning, and subject matter that influence their future practice unless professional education intervenes.

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Some of the rules of the bargain pupils make with a teacher are in that gray area continually subject to negotiation—degrees of neatness or quietness, for example. Other rules are clear-cut: a teacher may not give a test on things not in the text or on matters not covered in class. Rules vary from classroom to classroom and from one school to another, of course, and with the age and sophistication of pupils. But everywhere the largely unspoken bargain his pupils make with him constrains the teacher’s behavior whether he knows it or not.

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Baron, George and Tropp, Asher 6966 Teachers in England and America. Pages 595-557 in A. H. Halsey, Jean Floud, and C. Arnold Anderson (editors), Education, Economy, and Society: A Reader in the Sociology of Education. New York: Free Press.

Teachers feel they have a poor public image and inadequate public appreciation, but for many teaching is a step up in social class and therefore in respect. Large city systems help teachers to get the additional education required for specialization and raises in pay. Opportunity to transfer to the pleas-anter working conditions in middle-class schools comes with seniority (Becker 6958). For men, schoolteaching may be a stopgap, if no longer a stepping-stone on the way to more prestigious careers. For women, it can be a satisfying and even creative occupation that intrudes less than others upon a husband and children.

Although teachers deal with people rather than with things (an ancient status distinction), the people they deal with are minors. They miss the rewards, psychological and political, of serving people of high status and power. Their daily work is often programmed by state departments of educacation nonteachers supervise and direct them in ways which make the autonomy prized by traditional professionals and entrepreneurs impossible. Under such conditions, we should not be surprised that the recruiting of committed professionals is difficult.

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What might a developmental curriculum for learning to teach entail? Which tasks belong to initial preparation and which to the induction phase? Despite gaps in knowledge and a lack of consensus about the best ways to prepare teachers and support their learning over time, it is possible to conceptualize a continuum of learning opportunities for teachers.

Borko, Hilda, and Putnam, Ralph. 6996. "Learning to Teach." In Handbook of Educational Psychology, ed. David C. Berliner and Robert C. Calfee. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Doyle, Walter. 6986. "Classroom Organization and Management." In Handbook of Research on Teaching, ed. Merlin C. Wittrock. New York: Macmillan.

Votre Majesté rendra un service éternel au genre humain en détruisant cette infâme superstition, je ne dis pas chez la canaille, qui n’est pas digne d’être éclairée, et à laquelle tous les jougs sont propres je dis chez les honnêtes gens, chez les hommes qui pensent, chez ceux qui veulent penser. Je ne m’afflige de toucher à la mort que par mon profond regret de ne vous pas seconder dans cette noble entreprise, la plus belle et la plus respectable qui puisse signaler l’esprit humain.

At the present time, more is known about how people learn than ever before in human history, and breakthroughs in research are occurring with increasing frequency. The social sciences have contributed enormously to this body of theoretical knowledge, but the diffusion of pedagogical innovations remains problematic. New theories and practices usually do not completely displace existing pedagogies but are simply added to teachers x7569 instructional repertoire. Moreover, the translation of theory into classroom practice depends heavily on how well individual teachers understand the theories they were taught and how they put them into practice.

Whatever its form—competition among pupils that the teacher must carefully perpetuate, bargaining in which he must share, or revolts he must put down—conflict is difficult for the teacher who clings to the conventional idea that his sole function is one of imparting knowledge. If he thinks of himself as a superior controlling the behavior of many unruly subordinates, he may eventually come to enjoy the battle.

If you know your subject, you can teach it. Whatever else teachers need to know, they need to know their subjects. There are teachers whose abundant knowledge and love of their subject make them extremely effective even though they have had no special preparation for teaching. Other teachers who possess extensive subject matter knowledge are unable to present this knowledge clearly or help others learn it. Research is beginning to clarify what it means to "know" one's subject for purposes of teaching it, and why conventional measures of subject matter knowledge are problematic.

Research in this area has raised several issues about the status of teachers' verbal reports on their practice: Do they genuinely reflect teachers' real thinking at the time, or are they after-the-event justifications? And can the thought that accompanies practical action be adequately represented in terms of words alone, or is "real" thought as much tied up with images, metaphors, and feelings? There are several conceptual issues concerning this type of research method, and clearly care must be taken to consider potential sources of distortion in self-report data. Nevertheless, steps can be taken to minimize such influences, and these methods have been used effectively to explore some of the cognitive aspects of teachers' work.

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