Good teacher or good lecturer?

A New York Times op-ed piece today “A New Measure for Classroom Quality” sounds as if the author equates teacher effectiveness with lectures.

R. Barker Bausell, a biostatistician and emeritus professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, says that teacher effectivess be determined by “measuring the amount of time a teacher spends delivering relevant instruction.”  He cities research showing efficient teachers produce students who performed well on standardized tests.

Bausell says we need to do something to improve the home envionment for poor kids and provide lots of tutoring, both of which are good options.  However, Bausdell doesn’t explain, at least not to my satisfaction, how come all that tutoring is needed if all that’s involved in good teaching is to deliver relevant content fast. Nor does he address the issue of whether standardized tests measure the kinds of learning students must do.

Bausell says schools can videotape a few minutes of instruction a day and make decisions about teacher effectiveness on that basis.  Bausell doesn’t say anything about having the videotapes reviewed at teacher evaluation centers in Pakistan to take advantage of the time difference and reduce budget outlays. Perhaps he didn’t have space to go into that.

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