I read every post by Grant Wiggins, but this one really stood out to me as essential to great teaching in any subject for any age group. It is also challenging, but not intimidating. There are excellent practical suggestions at the end of this post, like doing formative assessment every 10 minutes.
When Stanford Professor Lee Shulman was first enmeshed in the research that led to Board certification of teachers by NBPTS, I asked him – in a hotel bathroom, of all places – what interesting findings were turning up about great teachers as compared to the rest. He replied: “Well, you might not find this such a big deal, but a big indicator is the degree to which a teacher accurately describes what happens in her classroom.”
I DID find it a big deal! It confirmed something I had noticed for years, memorably captured by Ben Stein playing a boring and clueless history teacher in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: weak teachers have big blind spots. In fact, earlier that week I had watched one of the top teachers in Jefferson County KY overlook some revealing student behavior after she had stopped to work with a small group doing a task…
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