As pressure mounts to improve student performance, professors from time to time weigh in with proposals that are supported by research (“How better teachers are made,” Los Angeles Times, Nov. 16). The latest example is Linda Darling-Hammond, president of the Learning Policy Institute and emeritus professor at Stanford.
Darling-Hammond says that instruction is improved when teachers are “supported with good ideas.” The key, she urges, is collegial collaboration. I agree, but she needs a reality check because the lockstep schedule that characterizes public schools in this country makes her suggestion almost impossible.
Teachers in pre-K-12 don’t have the luxury that professors enjoy. Their day barely allows them time to use the restroom, let alone sit down with their colleagues to discuss instructional strategies. Teachers are simply too exhausted. I challenge university professors to teach for a month in a public school. They’ll quickly find out what I mean.
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