5/08/2006

A Star [Teacher] Is Made

Calling all you new teacher/teacher induction/recruitment fiends out there. Sunday's NYT includes a piece that, while not explicitly about education, has tremendous implications for teacher recruitment, support, and retention.

Called A Star Is Made, the piece (by the authors of Freakonomics) points out that scientists who've studied high performing individuals find that loads of practice and immediate feedback are the keys to excellence.

Perceptions of innate ability -- which these researchers consider highly overrated -- are, however, all too often what are used by employers for hiring decisions and by individuals to explain their or their colleagues' success or failure.

If this is true, then the keys for education include getting over the idea that talent is all, finding people who like teaching enough to practice very hard at it, and providing them with enough meaningful feedback to generate improvements in their skills.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Catherine Johnson said...

These findings, which are supported by various strains of research into the nature of IQ, also tell us that constructivist opposition to "drill and kill" needs to come to an end and soon.

2:32 PM  

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