Friday, March 16, 2012

Rotherham: Teaching Profession Can Learn From Marine Corps

In a piece for Time (3/16), Andrew J. Rotherham writes about lessons that the teaching profession can learn from the US Marine Corps, noting that while young Marines are "trusted to make extraordinary split-second decisions in an environment more dangerous and confusing than most of us can imagine," education policymakers "still haven't figured out how to give our teaching force...autonomy and accountability in a far less dynamic workplace." Rotherham lists five lessons that education professionals can learn from "the leathernecks." These include coupling extensive training with autonomy, teaching character, and taking "pride in what you do." "Thoughtful criticism is vital," he writes, "but in teacher-training programs, you're as likely to encounter a professor trashing Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as you are one celebrating the richness of the field. Likewise, the teachers' unions spend as much time complaining as they do talking up the importance of improving student outcomes."

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