Even though states and districts are choking on data, Bernard Fryshman writes, there’s still very little understanding of what constitutes great teaching.
Preparing a teacher is in a certain sense far more challenging than preparing other professionals. For all its variations, the physician’s focus on the human body is limited. So is the building studied by the architect and the court of law facing the lawyer.
The classroom awaiting the teacher, on the other hand, is almost infinite in its variations. We mentioned the hundred or so language groups. Now consider categories such as race, religion, sex, economic background, and age. Keep in mind variations in ability, in social problems—interests, physical and mental changes—the list is unending. In a word, there is no professional preparatory program that can encompass every population, let alone every eventuality.