The last two posts (see here and here) on “direct instruction” and ways of measuring teacher talk vs. student talk got me thinking again about an obvious but often unasked question: how have teachers taught over the past century.
Policy debates over social-emotional curriculum, problem-based learning, and universal preschools seldom ask: how have teachers taught? What patterns of teaching have marked classrooms decade after decade? What kinds of change in teaching have occurred and which ones are best for students?
The main reason for this startling omission in policy debates is that few decision-makers can say with confidence how most teachers teach now or in the past.
I, and other researchers, have tried to answer some of those questions over the past 30 years. Answers to these questions can inform current policymakers, practitioners, parents, and researchers as they consider well-intentioned but ill-informed policies that push certain kinds of teaching…
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