Learning To Teach in an Age of Accountability
Edited by David Milton Gerwin
Routledge – 2004 – 288 pages
This book documents the "brave new world" of teacher, administrator, school, and student accountability that has swept across the United States in recent years. Its particular vantage point is the perspective of dozens of new teachers trying to make their way through their first months and years working in schools in the New York City metropolitan area. The issues they grapple with are not, however, unique to this context, but common problems found today in urban, suburban, and rural schools across the United States. The stories in this book offer a compelling portrait of these teachers' encounters with the new culture of accountability and the strategies they develop for coping, even succeeding, within such demanding settings.
Learning to Teach in an Age of Accountability: *introduces research on teaching and engages the "big ideas" concerning teacher research, highlighting what we know and where that leads us;
*offers a rich set of teacher narratives that are organized to widen the angle of vision from biography, to classrooms, schools, and society; and
*includes questions and activities to encourage discussion and further research about the ideas raised; and
*addresses the possibilities for best practice and curricular decision making in light of the issues and ideas presented in the book.
This volume--unique in its portrayal of new teachers' encounters with issues of accountability--makes a singular contribution to the educational literature on new teachers. It is relevant to everyone interested in the contemporary world of teaching, and is particularly appropriate as a text for preservice and in-service students. All readers who believe that the key to a good school lies in attracting and keeping good teachers will find the issues presented here both personally engaging and deeply troubling.
"This volume offers a compreshensive look into the multifaceted challanges faced by educators in contemporary times." "Recommended."
"Learning to Teach in an Age of Accountability, by Arthur Costigan and Margaret Smith Crocco, with Karen Kepler Zumwalt, documents the voices of many new teachers -- important voices, articulate voices, emotional voices. In an age of accountability, these voices bring to light many significant struggles, tensions, and conundrums that exist for them as they enter middle and secondary school environments."
"There is a need for a text like this one. It will be useful for beginning teachers to help them think about how to better manage the tensions associated with the current school environment, and to those who prepare and supervise them….Using cases of the actual experiences of beginning urban teachers is excellent."
—Kenneth M. Zeichner
University of Wisconsin-Madison
"Learning to Teach in an Age of Accountability paints a vivid picture of the complex reality, role, and professional development of teachers [and] makes clear connections between accountability mandates and how this negatively impacts teachers and students via narrowly defined curricula and practices….I found it rich and interesting….This book fills a void as a qualitative critical work that looks at what really matters to teachers."
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
"This book left me both exhilarated and dispirited--so many articulate and passionate new teachers, yet so many problems in schools. The voices of new teachers are here….I can't think of a problem faced by new teachers that is not addressed in some way….This will be a popular book. I would love to use it with my pre-service teachers."
Ohio State University
Contents: Preface. Part I: Choosing to Become a Teacher. Teaching Is Messy Work. High-Stakes Teaching. Part II: Teaching as an Autobiographical Act. Vocation? Profession? Or Just a Job? "Having a Life" as a New Teacher. From Noble Ideals to Everyday Realities. Part III: Encountering Classrooms and Schools. Lessons, Kids, and Classrooms. Accountability, Autonomy, and Responsibility in the Classroom. Teaching Is Not Just What Happens When You Close the Classroom Door. The Global Village of the Classroom. Part IV: New Teachers as Decision Makers. The Past Is Never Past. Teaching as a Political Act. Part V: Confronting the Age of Accountability. K.K. Zumwalt, Choosing to Make a Difference.