Parsing the Practice of Teaching

Jan. 15, 2016

Source: Journal of Teacher Education, Volume 67, Issue 1, January/February 2016

This article examines the author's efforts to parse teaching practice into lists of discrete procedures. It argues that the teacher educators need to pay less attention to the visible behaviors of teaching and more attention to the purposes that are served by those behaviors.

As a way to begin a conversation about parsing teachers’ purposes, the author offers a proposal for conceptualizing teaching as a practice that entails five persistent problems, each of which presents a difficult challenge to teachers, and all of which compete for teachers’ attention. Viewed in this way, the role of teacher education is not to offer solutions to these problems, but instead to help novices learn to analyze these problems and to evaluate alternative courses of action for how well they address these problems.

Updated: Jun. 07, 2017