Behind the Headline: Teachers Aren’t Dumb

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Teachers Aren’t Dumb
New York Times | 9/8/15

Behind the Headline
21st Century Teacher Education
Education Next| Summer 2013

“The problem in American education is not dumb teachers. The problem is dumb teacher training,” argues Dan Willingham in an op-ed in the New York Times.  He writes

Teachers are smart enough, but you need more than smarts to teach well. You need to know your subject and you need to know how to help children learn it. That’s where research on American teachers raises concerns.

Willingham reviews research that finds that many students at schools of education (as well as professors) don’t know what they need to know to be good teachers. Teachers themselves complain that their training focuses too much on abstract theory and not enough on”nuts-and-bolts matters of teaching.”

Willingham concludes

Much of what makes a teacher great is hard to teach, but some methods of classroom instruction have been scientifically tested and validated. Teachers who don’t know these methods are not stupid; they’ve been left in the dark.


In an article for Education Next, Kate Walsh explores why schools of education are not giving teachers the tools they need to be effective teachers.

– Education Next

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