Saturday, March 20, 2010

Teaching teachers to teach

I'm taking an online course, and as one of our projects we have to find an article abstract on a number of different topics.  One of these is the impact of class size on teacher hiring practice.  While I'm having a hard time pinning down an article that addresses this specific issue, I am coming across a great deal of discussion about the impact of class size CAPS on the quality of teachers.  For example, after implementing rules that cap early-grade classes at less than 20, Florida was going to have to hire 30,000 new teachers.  Researchers expected that the quality of teachers was going to suffer because of it.  (Kingsbury 2005.  US News and World Report.)

It trips across my brain because Marzano's research suggests that class size does not have the biggest impact on student learning--effective teachers in big classes do better than poor teachers in smaller classes.  It's more worthwhile to have teachers who know how to teach than it is to have a bunch of incompetents teaching smaller classes.  (At least from an administrator's point of view.  I LIKE my small classes, thank you very much.  And I don't remember the exact research, but it probably doesn't go on ad infinitum.  It probably only works up to, I don't know, 40 or 50 students in one class.  Infrastructure limitations become a concern at those numbers, too--where are you going to sit 20 classes of 50 students?)

This suggests that the greatest good we can do for our students is dump a bunch of money into making sure that their teachers we have (and the teachers we'll be getting) are really good.  This starts with university teacher prep programs, but it probably doesn't end there.  I know there's been huge movement in this direction since I started teaching, and it's something that my school district has been working towards like mad this year.


Anonymous said...

Well your article helped me truly much in my college assignment. Hats off to you send, wish look forward for the duration of more cognate articles in a jiffy as its anecdote of my favourite question to read.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for my bad english. Thank you so much for your good post. Your post helped me in my college assignment, If you can provide me more details please email me.