Michigan???s ed school is on the Ball

hammer photo

UMich takes a hammer to the
walls of the ivory tower.
(Photo by The Fixer)

According to Deborah Loewenberg Ball, dean of
Michigan’s education school: “Teacher training in this country is in deep
trouble.” Gadfly—and myriad other smart policymakers, education shops, and
concerned citizens—couldn’t agree more. But Ball goes one further: This week,
she’s unveiled TeachingWorks, a wing of the UMich ed school that will focus on
“raising the standard for practice as a classroom teacher by transforming how
teachers are prepared and supported.” While details of the initiative are still
fuzzy, the skills that Ball seems to be pushing into education-school curricula—teaching
educators to communicate with parents and manage small group
work effectively—are a welcome change from the typical blather about Piaget and
Paulo Freire. And the nineteen specific skills distilled by TeachingWorks should
help bring some order to the unruly and cacophonous court of teacher
preparation. If more education schools sign on to the initiative, we might even
be looking at the beginnings of “common core” teaching standards. How novel.

Mich. Project Scales Up 'High Leverage' Teaching Practices
,” by Stephen
Sawchuk, Education Week, October 24,