Crooked Timber on Tony Wagner’s Change Leadership Groups

June 21, 2010 at 2:39 pm Leave a comment

by Alec Patton

I just read this post from Harry Brighouse on Crooked Timber. He’s writing about Tony Wagner’s The Global Achievement Gap, but what he focuses on is interesting – not the political case for radically transformed schooling, but a very specific mechanism for transformative teaching: the Harvard Graduate School Change Leadership Groups:

The Harvard program is focused on k-12 teaching. At its core is a workshop, in which groups of teachers (most of whom are unacquainted with one another previously) discuss videos of other teachers teaching in the classroom, led by Wagner or one of his colleagues. The aim is to develop a language for discussing instruction—and to come to some sort of interpersonal agreement on standards of practice. Like most teachers, his participants have spent very little time observing other teachers do what they do, and are not practiced in rigorous detail-oriented discussion of what works and what doesn’t. Initially the reactions to what they are observing are very diverse—there is no agreement about whether what is being done is good or bad teaching. But over the course of the workshop the participants develop a common understanding, and a language for expressing it.

This excerpt gives a flavour, but it’s worth reading the full post.

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