The answers I provide for why classroom practices have remained largely stable over decades, even when counting modest changes teachers have made in routine activities, are hardly exhaustive. Nonetheless, these answers cover the major ones offered in the literature on school reform.
*What keeps teacher-directed instruction largely stable are teaching traditions dating back centuries that are reinforced by those who enter and stay in teaching, supported by popular social beliefs, and fortified by the age-graded school structure.
Moreover since the nature of teaching is conservative—i.e., transmitting knowledge, skills, and values to the young—the occupation has attracted people who believed that such practices were not only socially responsible but also worked for them when they were students.
Historical traditions of teacher-directed instruction to transfer knowledge, skills, and values from one generation to another stretch back millennia. Former students who decide to become teachers pick up instructional habits they…
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