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< img class=" aligncenter size-full wp-image-49715841" src=" https://ilovestudyabroad.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/new-book-offers-tried-and-true-advice-on-classroom-practice.png" alt=" Book cover of" Tried & True""

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American education has a thing for shiny “developments.” Whether it’s overhyped ed-tech, some new reform, or a faddish pedagogy, a continuous flood of this stuff rains down on students and schools. Even when we’re on the lookout for B.S., we tend to have blind spots for the stuff near to our heart. So, you’ll encounter a lot of teachers of education who ask difficult questions about conventional mathematics or stiff discipline but turn into enthusiastic cheerleaders for constructivism or corrective justice. And lots of policy mavens negative about new pedagogies but all-in on the marvels of ed-tech and new funding techniques.

This backdrop is what makes a pithy new book by Daniel Coupland so welcome. Coupland is the chair of the education department at Hillsdale College, a previous high school instructor, and the co-creator of an online course on traditional kids’s literature.

In Tried & & True: A Primer on Sound Pedagogy, drawing on his experience as an instructor and veteran instructor educator, Coupland shares a wealth of suggestions pitched to “those who are brand-new to teaching.” The resulting volume is brief, pointed, and useful. (I’m not joking around when I state short: It’s 90 smallish pages and can be read in 45 minutes.)

Photo of Daniel B. Coupland
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” wp-caption alignright” > Daniel B. Coupland The chapters cover topics that too quickly get slighted in instructor preparation, especially when trainers get caught up in convoluted thinking or ideological enthusiasms. That makes this a fantastic resource for instructors starving for useful guidance.

Coupland focuses on the sort of things that tripped him up as a first-year Spanish instructor. The book is arranged into 14 chapters, and their titles supply a good sense of the book’s message: “Follow the school’s mission,” “Establish helpful routines,” “Define anticipated habits,” “Enforce guidelines relatively,” “Begin and end lesson well,” “Include parents regularly,” “Use little groups carefully.”

Each chapter includes a series of reasonable suggestions. When it pertains to specifying anticipated habits, Coupland advises instructors to design a list of no more than a half-dozen guidelines; to keep each rule clear, concise, and favorable; and to post the list in their classrooms. Coupland argues, “Students’ desire to follow the rules depends in no little procedure” on how thoughtfully rules are designed, how dedicated the instructor is when describing the guidelines, and how “constant and impartial” teachers are in implementing the rules.

The book excels at providing guidance in locations where lots of novice teachers get more motivation than specific direction. For example, teachers are typically encouraged to make generous use of little groups but aren’t always offered much assistance on how to make them fruitful. Coupland provides suggestions on how to make these groups effective: Ensure students are prepared, keep groups little, keep the activity quick, clearly articulate the objective( s), hold trainees liable, and distribute around the class.

Coupland also has happily contrarian impulses. He’s skeptical of “learning styles” but sees the value in communicating plainly in a range of methods. He keeps in mind the appeal of small-group activities but alerts that these can be a waste of important time if “less motivated trainees count on their more motivated group members to do most of the work.”

Now, while I believe much of what Coupland has to say is practical, it will unquestionably be considered transgressive by more than a few brand-new instructors and teacher educators. Regrettably, Coupland never ever even attempts to encourage such readers that they may want to reconsider their views. He’s truly just composing for those prepared to yield to his competence.

That keeps the book brief and helpful but likewise indicates it never ever engages those who ‘d take issue with Coupland’s dictums. While I like much of what Coupland needs to say, there are a lot of locations where thoughtful educators may differ with his perspective or advice. The book does not engage such readers. In a field that can utilize more robust conversation about pedagogy, that’s a missed out on opportunity.

In the meantime, newbie teachers looking for a candid and concrete resource this fall might find this to be simply the ticket. And, I presume that even those who decline some of Coupland’s ideas will appreciate a break from thoroughly hedged pieties.

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Frederick Hess is director of education policy research studies at the American Enterprise Institute and a managing editor of Education Next.

This post initially appeared on Rick Hess Straight Up.

The post New Book Offers Tried-and-True Advice on Classroom Practice appeared initially on Education Next.