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Highly Effective Teachers of Vulnerable Students

Practice Transcending Theory

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Edited By Mary Poplin and Claudia Bermudez

Highly Effective Teachers of Vulnerable Students contains the quintessential details of highly effective teachers working with students who live in poverty inside our public schools and community colleges. This book features the words and actions of the teachers that can inspire and direct any current or future teacher who wants to be great and be a part of inspiring young people to fulfill their potential. This is the grist we need to spark a reinvigorated critical national conversation about what it takes to really have highly effective teachers in low-income public schools and whether we have the moral courage to work as hard as they do to make educational equity a reality in our nation.

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Epilogue: What Makes a Great Teacher? (Paul Kirschner)

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Epilogue: What Makes a Great Teacher?

PAUL KIRSCHNER

What makes a great teacher? This is a question with both a simple and a complex answer (and probably a number of categories of answers in between). First the simple answer. A great teacher is someone whose efforts inside and outside the classroom lead to positive effects on student academic progress; that is, an increase in their knowledge and skills. The more progress that the learner makes, the better the teacher. I know this answer might rile some people, and those people are probably yelling at me at this very moment that academic progress is “old school” and that the school in the 21st century should make learners resilient, inquisitive, engaged, problem-solving good citizens. It should prepare learners for their uncertain future. And much more, but … To all of this my answer is: Yes, OK, but the basis for all of these high and noble goals are knowledge and skills. In a research article on what it means to educate youth for nonexistent/not yet existing professions Kirschner and Stoyanov (2018) said it as follows:

… there is much discussion and confusion as to what knowledge, skills, and attitudes are necessary to prepare the youth for the problems associated with the uncertainties of the labour market and the consequences thereof. What is clear is that students need a strong knowledge and skills foundation for future-proof learning which is defined as the...

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