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Teaching Skillful Teaching

Abstract

"What differentiates classrooms in which students make the most progress from those in which they make the least? Several current frameworks have attempted to answer that question by naming the practices of skillful teachers (see Danielson, 2007; Lampert, 2001; Lemov, 2010). Identifying the specific practices fundamental to supporting student learning is at the heart of building an effective system for the professional training and development of teachers.

Two contemporary factors intensify the need for such training. First, students are, more than ever, expected to achieve ambitious goals that include producing disciplined reasoning and solving problems, not simply recalling basic information and procedures. Second, the explicit aim is that all students will achieve these outcomes. Although schools have always taught some students a more ambitious curriculum, they have traditionally set different goals for other groups of students. In contrast, teachers today are expected to help a much wider range of learners reach complex levels of performance. It is crucial, then, to identify the high-leverage practices that underlie teaching complex content to all students."

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