In today's education debates, many experts call for school vouchers, smaller classes, more standardized testing, or rigorous teacher accrediting as the key to improving student performance. Remarkably, none of these approaches addresses what actually goes on in the classroom. In this book an experienced classroom teacher and noted researcher on teaching takes us into her fifth-grade math class through the course of a year. Magdalene Lampert shows how classroom dynamics -- the complex relationship of teacher, student, and content -- are critical in the process of bringing each student to a deeper understanding of mathematics, or any other subject. She offers valuable insights into students and teaching for all who are concerned about improving the learning that happens in the classroom.
Lampert considers the teacher's and students' work from many different angles, in views large and small. She analyzes her own practice in a particular classroom, student by student and moment by moment. She also investigates the particular kind of teaching that aims at engaging elementary school students in learning fundamentally important ideas and skills by working on problems. Finally, she looks at the common problems of teaching that occur regardless of the individuals, subject matter, or kinds of practice involved. Lampert arrives at an original model of teaching practice that casts new light on the complexity in teachers' work and on the ways teachers can successfully deal with teaching problems.
One of the most important books about education to appear in the past decade. . . . engaging, even gripping.