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Volume 115, Number 12, 2013

Featured Articles
by David Berliner
This paper points out that the most popular current school reforms offered have failed to accomplish their goal because they fail to understand the fundamental problem of American schools, namely, income inequality and the poverty that accompanies such inequality. Prescriptions to fix our schools cannot work if the diagnosis about what is wrong with them is in error.

by Stuart Yeh
Analysis suggests that value-added modeling (VAM) is not reliable or valid for the purpose of identifying and replacing low-performing teachers and is not cost-effective for the purpose of raising student achievement.

by Erika Kitzmiller
This article presents and analyzes a variety of approaches that teachers in a struggling urban school used after a violent teacher attack ushered in a culture of chaos and fear throughout the school. As this paper suggests, many of these approaches failed to generate the authority necessary to restore student engagement and the relational trust between teachers and students that they had lost following this incident. At the same time, one teacher implemented an approach that allowed him to reclaim his authority, repair the teacher-student relationship, and increase student engagement in his classroom. Drawing on various theories about power and authority in schools, I argue that the degree to which these different approaches created engaging learning environments and restored a meaningful teacher-student relationship depended on whether students recognized a teacher’s authority as legitimate.

by Adrianna Kezar
Non-tenure track faculty now make up two-thirds of the faculty, but we have very little research on this growing population. What little we know is that they often have poor working conditions. Some leaders are beginning to alter policies and practices on campus to better support these faculty. The question addressed in this particular article is: How do NTTF construct an understanding of support within their department? The results showcase individual and institutional conditions that uniquely shape their views, dispelling the notion that they are a mostly homogenous group. Practical implications for improving departmental and institutional life are also offered.

by Benjamin Jacobs
This document-based historical study focuses on history/social studies teacher education in the decades immediately preceding and following the National Education Association’s landmark report, The Social Studies in Secondary Education, which commonly is credited with establishing social studies as a school subject. The article interrogates how teacher preparation programs contributed and/or responded (or not) to this curriculum reform and to what effect. This study is the first of its kind to center primarily on the history of teacher education in the social studies.

by Christopher Brown & Yi-Chin Lan
This article presents findings from a qualitative metasynthesis that studied whether teachers and/or administrators were engaging in appropriate practices, and if so, how might such practices influence children’s cognitive development.

by Audrey Amrein-Beardsley, Joshua Barnett & Tirupalavanam Ganesh
In this article, teacher education researchers examine growing concerns about teacher education programs in America, as well as growing concerns about how to evaluate the programs and hold them internally and externally accountable for the quality of the teachers they graduate. Researchers describe a multi-university, statewide initiative that approached this work, and what one college, representing one of the largest teacher education colleges in the nation, did to advance these examinations locally.

by Rachael Gabriel & Jessica Lester
In the fairytale of US public education reform, the root of all evil has presumably been identified: the dragons of ineffectiveness. In this fairytale, The LA Times, a newspaper team of investigative reporters, hired statisticians, and other columnists have rode in on the back of Value-Added Measurement. In this paper, we present findings from a discourse analysis study examining what we have come to name a policy narrative centered on teacher evaluation and effectiveness. We conducted an analysis of 52 articles published between 2009 and 2011 that were from or related to a series on Value-Added Measurement initially published in 2010 by The LA Times. We sought to understand the ways in which discourse choices worked to construct a certain version of policy issues related to teacher quality, positioning some individuals and even national groups on one side of a polarized debate. We have given particular attention to the ways in which the media discourse functioned to politicize and (over)simplify issues related to educational policy and teacher evaluation.

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