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A Think Twice Review of:

Learning about Learning: What Every New Teacher Needs to Know

Think Twice - Mar 24, 2016

Publisher/Think Tank - National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ)

Author(s) - Laura Pomerance, Julie Greenberg and Kate Walsh

As part of a series of reports chronicling teacher education, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) attempted to investigate the textbooks used in teacher prep coursework. The report contended that textbooks assigned in methods coursework fail to provide teacher candidates with proper preparation. The NCTQ report is based on six strategies adapted from a practice guide provided by the What Works Clearinghouse, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES). The report offers recommendations for textbook publishers, teacher education programs, and state departments of education.

Reviewer(s) - P.L. Thomas, Furman University; and Christian Z. Goering, University of Arkansas

However, the reviewers note that the report is not grounded in a comprehensive examination of the literature on teaching methods. Moreover, the report relies on a single source, which itself was based on a narrow set of research studies. The reviewers find that, despite posing an interesting question, NCTQ’s report falls short because it uses a narrow set of criteria and applies it in a misleading and superficial way. They conclude: “this report in no way justifies taking the conclusions or recommendations seriously when determining policy or practice.”