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Effective or Wise?

Teaching and the Meaning of Professional Dispositions in Education

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Edited By Julie A. Gorlewski, David A. Gorlewski, Jed Hopkins and Brad J. Porfilio

In our work as educators, we all aspire to be effective. We also aspire to be wise. If teachers are to represent and advocate for education, we must become the stewards of a discourse that nurtures education’s possibilities. This book explores how teacher dispositions are defined, developed, cultivated, and assessed. The authors in the volume consider the various and interconnected ways in which educators’ values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors are performed and how these performances affect experiences and practices of learning. This text investigates complex questions, such as: How should teachers be? and Who should decide how teachers should be? In different ways, all the chapters in this book invite us into the work of reinvigorating educational discourse. The contributors contradict the idea that wisdom is the province of the lone genius who possesses knowledge that is obscure to the majority. Instead, they ask us all to participate in the necessarily collaborative endeavor of discourse stewardship in – as grand as it may sound – the pursuit of wisdom.

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Foreword (Tim Slekar)

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Foreword Wise or Effective? A 21st-Century Classroom Vignette tim slekar Mr. Rhodes walks into his fourth-grade classroom on Monday morning. He turns the lights on and looks at his classroom. The 28 desks are grouped in seven pods. Above each pod hangs a cardboard cutout of a jungle animal with the names of each child in the pod attached to the jungle animal. On one wall, labeled prominently the “data wall,” are all the charts and graphs that clearly demonstrate Mr. Rhodes’s commitment to data-driven instruction. Mr. Rhodes’s students know where they are and, most importantly, where they need to be—clearly written goals comprise another section of the “data wall.” Each child will walk into the classroom in the morning, look at the data wall, and see his or her individualized learning goal for the week clearly written on the wall. Also, just in case the child is interested, Mr. Rhodes includes the state standard that aligns with each child’s goal (Mr. Rhodes’s principal will surely be impressed). It is clear, to reiterate, that Mr. Rhodes wants his students to know where they are, where they are going, and where they need to be. Mr. Rhodes walks over to the side of the room and turns on the 10 tablet computers, ensuring that each has the new math “simulation” ready to go so the children can get to work when the time is right. And all around the room are inspiring posters reminding the children that there is “No...

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