Wednesday, November 05, 2014

½ of a good book

Keeping with the education theme, I decide to read "Building a better teacher", which ended up being half of a good book.  The first portion was sad reading about the failed effort at Michigan State - heart wrenching knowing how much effort the well meaning parties had put into the effort.  A specific example to make a general point - previous efforts at improving education had failed.

The second ½ was more of a "how to" book focusing on specific skills - The Discipline of discipline for example, so ended up leaving the book disjoint.  Perhaps when this book is updated in a decade or so when some of the school improvement efforts have reached maturity, it will tell a better story.

So far, of the three education books that I've read, The Smartest Kids in the World is still the best book, evaluating the 3 on what makes a good book - good narrative arc, characters you can care about. The other books (also including Paying for the Party - by far the weakest of the three) are both well meaning, they both lacked the proper structure of what a good story should be, and even non-fiction title should ultimately tell a good story.

There are some common threads in the literature that I've read - teachers should be highly screened & continually trained....and highly paid.  We've reached testing overkill in this country.  Beyond that, not sure what common conclusions one could draw beyond, we've spent a ton of $$$ and resources that have gone to waste.

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