March 2009
Vol 6 No 3

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Teachers.Net Gazette Vol.6 No.3 March 2009

Cover Story by Graysen Walles
Teachers are Brave
Somewhere in this country a drive-by was avoided, a robbery was reconsidered, or a suicide attempt was abandoned because a teacher was willing to show up and make a difference in the classroom, administrative office, after school activity, or at the home of a child.

Harry & Rosemary Wong: Effective Teaching
Assessing for Student Learning

»The 21st Century Teaching-Learning Environment - (Think Outside the Classroom Box)Hal Portner
»Why Do You Teach?Sue Gruber
»Educating Homeless ChildrenLeah Davies
»Old School Progress ReportsTodd R. Nelson
»Habit vs. Awareness for the 3 Practices and for the Hierarchy of Social DevelopmentMarvin Marshall
»The Busy Educator's Monthly FiveMarjan Glavac
»Dear Barbara - Advice for SubsBarbara Pressman
»Global Travel GuruJosette Bonafino
»Tool & ToysRick Morris

»Economic Relief for TeachersTeachers.Net
»Fifty Years of TeachingBill Page
»Strange SignsTim Newlin
»A Dozen Surefire Tips To Maximize Flexible Grouping and Small Group LearningSusan Fitzell
»Time to Reward YourselfAlan Haskvitz
»March 2009 Writing PromptsJames Wayne
»Using Photographs To Inspire Writing VHank Kellner
»What’s Wrong With Teacher Education In This Country?Howard Seeman
»“Slumdog Millionaire” Teaches About Education, TooDorothy Rich
»Teachers’ Role in Improving Students’ Thinking Skills: Moving beyond the ‘sage on the stage’Ambreen Ahmed

»Apple Seeds: Inspiring QuotesBarb Stutesman
»Today Is... Daily CommemorationRon Victoria
»The Lighter Side of Teaching
»Teacher Blogs Showcase
»Liz Phillips' Printable Discipline Rubric
»Photo tour: 4th Grade Classroom
»Lessons, Resources and Theme Activities: March 2009
»Featured Lesson: Recognizing Bullying
»Modeling Guided Reading FAQ, Periodic Table of Videos – Fascinating Chemistry!, Carl Sagan - 4th Dimension Explanation, Parabolas in the Real World, Al Jolson sings - Brother Can You Spare a Dime?, Lovers’ Waltz - Casey Willis on violin, Meet Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
»Live on Teachers.Net: March 2009
»T-Netters Share Favorite Recipes
»Managing Hyperactive Students
»Newsdesk: Events & Opportunities for Teachers
»This Board’s For Me!


The Teachers.Net Gazette is a collaborative project
published by the Teachers.Net community
Editor in Chief: Kathleen Alape Carpenter
Layout Editor: Mary Miehl

Cover Story by Graysen Walles

Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong

Contributors this month: Graysen Walles, Hal Portner, Sue Gruber, Leah Davies, Todd R. Nelson, Marvin Marshall, Marjan Glavac, Barbara Pressman, Josette Bonafino, Rick Morris, Bill Page, Tim Newlin, Susan Fitzell, Alan Haskvitz, James Wayne, Hank Kellner, Howard Seeman, Dorothy Rich, Ambreen Ahmed, Barb Stutesman, Ron Victoria, Liz Phillips, and YENDOR.

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Howard Seeman

Archive | Biography | Resources | Discussion

What’s Wrong With Teacher Education In This Country?
There is a training gap between giving teachers informed perceptions, and actually helping them with what specifically to do for over 6 hours a day, 180 days a year.
by Howard Seeman, Ph.D.
Founder, Supervisor of Instruction
March 1, 2009

The short answer? The curriculum that prospective teachers are put through. When you ask teachers for over two decades what do they really need to be better teachers, they do not say:
Piaget, Ericson, Maslow, or the history/philosophy of education, nor even better methods courses for teaching, e.g., the Pythagorean Theorem.

Teachers say:
"We need help with classroom management:
discipline problems, effective classroom rules, procedures, handling students who don't do the homework, who call out, curse, come in late, fight, throw things, and attack us."

The Annual Gallup Poll of Public Schools for the past 22 years reports "lack of discipline" is the most serious problem facing the nation's schools.

Classroom disruptions lead to nearly two million suspensions a year! (Daniel Macallair, Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, 2005).

We lose potentially "good" teachers every year:
50% quit the profession within five years because of classroom disruptive behavior (Jean Johnson Public Agenda 2/14/05)

8 out of 10 teachers report that their teaching would be more effective if they did not have to spend so much time handling disruptive behavior. (J. Johnson)

And, these classroom disruptions do not just hurt our schools. They also fuel truancy, youth crimes, gang recruitment, family dysfunction, drug abuse, teen pregnancy and suicide.

What is wrong with teacher education for so many years that it has not helped teachers with what they really need?

Most teacher education curricula taught in our nation's colleges are loaded with too much abstract theory and too little realistic practical help. Courses in the history and philosophy of education, learning theory, and child development do help reframe teachers' perceptions of students' learning, but they do little to help teachers with their priority need:
what to actually do in the classroom on the spot.

There is a training gap between giving teachers informed perceptions, and actually helping them with what specifically to do for over 6 hours a day, 180 days a year.

Even the usefulness of subject methods courses only help get across the subject matter, IF the teacher can control his class. Teachers want effective classroom management to be a priority in their education. It is not.

It is not because teachers have little or no say regarding the courses they must take. Instead, professors of education have most of this power. And, most education professors tend to select theoretical courses they are comfortable teaching, rather than teach to the priority of what their students need. In many institutions, if the course offerings were more about what teachers really needed, many of these too theoretical professors would be out of a job. Many cannot teach the priority of what these teachers need. Professors vote for curricula that more secures their jobs, than that which would really help the jobs of those they are supposed to help. Some education professors, assigned to train K-12 teachers, would, themselves, fall apart in front of a real K-12 classroom.

Article continued on next page

» More Gazette articles...

About Howard Seeman...

Howard Seeman, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus, Lehman College, C.U.N.Y., author of Preventing Classroom Discipline Problems, 3rd Ed. [Rowman/Littlefield Publishers], and Instructor/Consultant at:

Dr. Seeman, Professor Emeritus of Lehman College, City Univ. of New York, has taught classroom management, educational psychology, course-content methods, and supervised teachers and student teachers since 1970. His book, Preventing Classroom Discipline Problems; A Classroom Management Handbook is now in its 3rd edition, with its own companion training Video and CD. His book is used in over 400 school districts, coast to coast in the U.S., and internationally, in over 30 countries. He has also published over 20 articles in professional journals on education, counseling, philosophy, and psychology, and recently has been a major contributor to online education publications and resources.

Dr. Seeman also holds Certification for Training in School Violence Prevention and Intervention.

Dr. Seeman has been interviewed on various radio-talk shows and has been the keynote speaker at numerous national education conferences. He has given over 50 workshops and lectures throughout the U.S. on classroom management, prevention of disruptive behavior, and emotional education. He was a visiting professor in Japan from 1990 to 1992.

Prior to being a professor and consultant, Dr. Seeman was a camp director for ten years, co-directed a camp for emotionally disturbed children, worked in children's shelters, and taught in the New York City public schools as a licensed substitute teacher, and full-time High School English and Social Studies teacher.

Prof. Seeman has taught this course:
"Preventing Discipline Problems and Classroom Management" for over 25 years, now online!

Click here for more information about Prof. Seeman

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