Working Towards a Science of Teaching
“Science” is a contested term in education. Few believe it possible. Fewer still want to see it realized. Most who favor a science of education labor under an impoverished conception of science as that body of knowledge created by empirical, especially statistical study of educational practice. A result of this contestation is creation of at least two major, opposing camps in educational theory, one positivistic, one postmodern. We’ll be using these lenses to look into the scientific potential of teaching in an effort to transcend the debate. We’ll compare ideas about a science of teaching to conceptions of teaching as an artistic activity, as a craft, and as an occupation requiring for the most part simply the ability to follow the directions of supervisors. We’ll also consider the consequences of holding these views for issues of teacher accountability and teacher professionalism.
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