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Why a national focus on better teaching by elementary and secondary school students?
The social and economic future of our nation depends on good schools, and the eventual economic success of our children depends on a good education. Learning to teach should be a part of it.
- Learning is deeper and better
- Basic to good parenting
- Important in all occupations
- Improved community leadership
And having good schools always depends on good teachers.
It is surprising, then, that our society delays the deliberate development of effective teaching skills in people until they are adults and confines that development to pre-service professional teachers.
Peer teaching and collaborative/cooperative learning are widely used classroom strategies in which students learn by teaching each other in addition to learning by other means. For today's student, then, teaching has become an important learning tool in all disciplines.
Compared with the traditional learning tools of literacy and numeracy, however, teaching by k12 students is unexplored territory, left virtually untouched by researchers and professional teachers alike. Contact us.
What are Hoenny Center people doing about it?
Research and development: We have searched and summarized the existing literature on students teaching students in K-12 schools. See this web site for an executive summary [PDF]. We also conducted a national survey of peer teaching practices and beliefs. Reports are available here. See our list of projects.
Field-tests: We are working with professional teachers to develop and test various ideas to improve peer teaching. As we gain confidence that the ideas are working, we'll disseminate the results.
Advocacy: Based on our results, we will develop materials for k12 teachers so that they can help their students teach better and will encourage the most pedagogically effective and motivated students to become professional teachers.
Collaborations: We will explore ways for business and industry leaders to coach us on their expectations for the instructional abilities of their future employees, and to include instructional ability measures in hiring processes.
Professional Development: We are finding and assisting teachers to form self-renewing teacher development communities, ones that mentor promising future teacher candidates and, at the same time, provide motivation and encouragement to veteran teachers. Contact us.
What can I do? Here are two actions you can take:
1. Send a tax-deductible donation: Start small or large, but help us develop the best teachers of the future. We're on the next frontier of teacher development - join us. We’re a 501(c)(3) corporation. Click here to join us on the next frontier of teacher development.