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This Teaching Life: How I Taught Myself to Teach


reviewed by Jessica Fitzsimons Riccio & Angela Calabrese Barton — 2006

coverTitle: This Teaching Life: How I Taught Myself to Teach
Author(s): Selma Wasserman
Publisher: Teachers College Press, New York
ISBN: 0807745006, Pages: 176, Year: 2004
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Miss Stellwagon, my first grade teacher, was my “first teacher”. She taught me about favorites (I was not one) and about talking in class (I was one)… She taught me that discipline meant humiliation and loss of self-esteem, which diminished you” (p. 5-6). Reflecting on her lifetime in schools – as a student, a teacher and a researcher – Selma Wasserman situates both the complexity of the relationship between teacher and student and the importance of self-reflection or “looking at self” in her autobiographical account This Teaching Life: How I Taught Myself to Teach (Teachers College Press, 2004).  One of the central themes presented in this text is Wasserman’s lifelong struggle of “coming to know teaching” as an educative art rather than simply a skill in which to be trained. Using stories from her life in the classroom, Wasserman demonstrates that education is about understanding and using that understanding to make... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 108 Number 1, 2006, p. 174-179
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12013, Date Accessed: 9/24/2017 7:08:58 PM

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About the Author
  • Jessica Riccio
    Teachers College, Columbia University
    E-mail Author
    JESSICA FITZSIMONS RICCIO is an Instructor in Science Education, and the Coordinator of Student Teaching for Preservice Science Students. She is a doctoral student in the Urban Science Education Center at Teachers College, and a former New York City Department of Education science teacher.
  • Angela Barton
    Teachers College, Columbia University
    E-mail Author
    ANGELA CALABRESE BARTON is an Associate Professor of Science Education. Her research focuses on urban science education and feminist/critical issues in science education and science teacher education. Her work has been published in Educational Researcher, American Educational Research Journal, Journal of Research in Science Teaching and Science Education among other places.
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