Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Carry-overs from 20th century teaching worth carrying over?

In Twenty Principles for Teaching Excellence: The Teacher’s Workbook (1992), Dr. M. Walker Buckalew walks teachers through the following summarized list of teaching principles:
  1. Academically authoritative
  2. Current in fields of academic expertise
  3. Hold high expectations of students
  4. Set high standards  for all students
  5. Student time on task is no less than 50% of class time
  6. One minute of test prep per 2 minutes of test time
  7. View test prep as integral to teaching
  8. Grading includes subjectivity and psychological reinforcement principles
  9. Classroom behavior control is both fair and humane
  10. Classroom behavior control approach is consistent, rigorous, and based on individual equity
  11. Endeavor to be professionally/emotionally involved with students outside of class
  12. Display interest in students' outside of class lives
  13. Teaching approach includes providing responsibility and adult type roles
  14. Goals and standards for student performance is taught in a planned progression
  15. Treat students as individuals within common frames of reference
  16. Lead student awareness beyond self and toward the community
  17. Recognize and reinforce excellence privately and publicly
  18. Recognize and reinforce notable effort
  19. Understand psychological reinforcement principles in depth
  20. Implementation of psychological reinforcement principles is regular component to teaching (p. 147-150).
I reference this list because it is quite exhaustive and speaks to an approach to teaching espoused near the end of the 20th century (1992).  Nineteen years later, our schools are still populated with teachers fro whom these principles, in some manner, likely made an impact on their professional development and identity.

Given this look back, can we say that any of these principles are dated?  Are there any carry-overs that should be carried over or have changes in the educational landscape made any of these principles obsolete?

We look to the future, but a reflection on the past can provide an interesting insight into the challenges we face and the opportunities we may be overlooking.

What would be our list today?

Twenty Principles for Teaching Excellence: The Teacher's Workbook
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