‘Teacherpreneurs’ — and free e-books

Teacherpreneurs tells the stories of eight classroom teachers who are shaping policies and practices at their schools.  All are members of Center for Teaching Quality’s  Collaboratory.

Download free-e-books: Michael Petrilli’s The Diverse Schools Dilemma and Education Reform for the Digital Era are available.

Also available as a free download: Mark Schneider’s The Accountability Plateau analyzes No Child Left Behind’s effect on NAEP scores (math achievement is up) and warns that gains may be leveling off.

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  1. Just a wee bit on the vague side for my taste.

    Exactly how do these wonders “spread their ideas, collaborate with colleagues, and lead change on a larger scale”?

    I understand that a book’s being hawked but unless they’re using Jedi mind tricks the organization of public education, and by extension the organization of education in general, is arrayed against them and for good reasons. Letting the cat out of the bag a trifle, instead of just hoping vague, but hopeful, generalities would do, would inspire some confidence that the book’s got something to offer.

    The title certainly doesn’t help much in that it’s a crude conglomeration of “teacher” and “entrepreneur” the latter of which has supplanted “neighborhood organizer” as a mythic, wealth-bringing figure to a large segment of society.

    Trying to hitch a tired, old wagon to a brisk young horse, as is being done by the title of the book, serves to benefit the wagon rather more then the horse.

    Not satisfied to stick “teacher” to “entrepreneur” the crime is compounded via the splicing of “collaboration”, a virtue so transcendent as to be more important then the task about which collaboration supposedly occurs, with “laboratory”. The intent being, I suppose, is to the elicit the feelings engendered by singing “Kumbaya” while wearing a lab coat.

    Reading through the first chapter – http://www.teachingquality.org/sites/default/files/Berry_Byrd_Wieder_Chapter%20_1.pdf – we find out that:

    [quote]They (Jennifer York-Barr and Karen Duke) describe a great deal about the dimensions and characteristics of teacher leadership, but point out that although the literature is “relatively rich” in regard to classroom experts’ potential to lead, it is light on the “evidence of such effects.”1[/quote]

    Do tell.

    Do inquiring minds want to know why “it is light on the evidence of such effects”? I know I do and maybe somewhere else in the book the question’s addressed but in the first chapter the reason for the dearth of evidence for classroom experts’ potential to lead elicits no interest. It’s just something to mention in passing.

    Of course it is kind of important to understand why teachers are ignored in the public education system. If it’s education in which you’re interested the failure to address this issue brings up the question of why anyone would give Berry, Bird and Weider the time of day since without knowing why teachers haven’t been able to “lead change on a larger scale” one course of action’s just as likely to result in success, or failure, as any other.

    But there’s really no mystery once one reads that first chapter.

    This book is just one more of the sort of rhetorical hummus that the field of education is famous for inasmuch as it’s the status quo that’s being defended.

    The problem faced by the authors is that the status quo elicits little in the way of the public trust of which it was once the happy recipient so being too direct in the defense of that status quo is a bad idea. That status quo is instead implicitly defended by adroitly avoiding mention of it.

    Fortunately, the real “teacherpreneurs” are finding an increasingly welcoming atmosphere as the district-based public education system gives way to the various alternatives. About damned time.

    • Roger Sweeny says:

      Spellcheck is not necessarily your friend 🙂

      hummus (HUM us): a Middle Eastern and Arabic food dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic

      humus (HYOOH mus): partially or wholly decayed vegetable or animal matter that provides nutrients for plants and increases the ability of soil to retain water

  2. D's Squirrel Food says:

    Those ebooks are not free.