In an effort to address the problems confronting the American education system, the Obama administration has issued structural and systematic reforms such as Race to the Top. These initiatives introduce new statistics and accountability systems to gauge what constitutes "good" teaching, both from an administrative standpoint and the perspective of teacher training programs. This volume offers a direct critique of this approach, concluding that it does not respond adequately to the issues of education reform but rather raises new problems and actively stymies progress.
The author argues that at the heart of the confusion lies a misguided and rationalistic view of teaching and learning. He draws on the philosophical strategies of Ludwig Wittgenstein to break down the guiding assumptions of Race to the Top, allowing both the positive and the negative aspects of the policies to be heard. The author then proposes a different view of teaching and learning which considers how to effectively address the problems Race to the Top seeks to confront.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Duncan’s Speeches on Race to the Top and the Assumptions of the Reform Movement 2. Teacher Knowledge, Teacher Practice 3. Best Practices and Artificial Intelligence 4. Teacher Practices and Accounts of Rule-Following 5. A Phenomenological Account of Skill Development 6. Achievement Data and Matters of Inference in Teacher Evaluation 7. The Non-Formalizable and Teacher Evaluation 8. Schwab’s Deliberation and the Responsiblities of Teacher Evaluation Conclusion: Courage, Conviction, Evaluation
Derek Gottlieb is a research fellow in the English department of the University of Basel in Switzerland. He holds PhDs in English Literature and in Education. He has published on teacher training and educational evaluation; his next book will explore theories of Shakespearean comedy.
"Gottlieb’s book is a welcome addition to the body of literature examining K-12 reform...The book represents an excellent overview of the tensions in school reform and the significant role good teaching plays in the debate.Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate and professional collections." - S.H. Minner, Radford University, in CHOICE, March 2015