Harvard Educational Review
  1. Spring 2012 Issue »

    Contextual Influences on Inquiries into Effective Teaching and Their Implications for Improving Student Learning

    Anthony Bryk, Heather Harding, and Sharon Greenberg
    HER Spring 12In this article, Anthony Bryk, Heather Harding, and Sharon Greenberg report on a roundtable jointly sponsored by Teach For America and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The authors brought together a group of scholars and practitioners with a broad range of perspectives and asked them to explore several questions related to the emerging national narrative on effective teachers: What is an effective teacher? How do we leverage this moment of enormous energy in producing more effective teaching to advance meaningful improvements at scale? Where are the current sites of success? What can we learn from what is working? The article is organized around the edited transcript of the roundtable discussion and is supplemented by author commentaries. The authors seek to illuminate and reimagine the current “nonsystem” in order to accelerate progress toward a wholly new approach to developing the teaching force our nation and our children need.

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    Anthony S. Bryk is the ninth president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He is leading work on transforming educational research and development, seeking to accelerate learning in and through practice to improve. He held the Spencer Chair in Organizational Studies in the School of Education and the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University from 2004 until assuming Carnegie’s presidency in September 2008. Prior to that he was at the University of Chicago, where he was the Marshall Field IV Professor of Urban Education in the sociology department and where he helped found the Center for Urban School Improvement, which supports reform efforts in the Chicago Public Schools. He also created the Consortium on Chicago School Research, a federation of research groups that has produced a range of studies to advance and assess urban school reform.

    Heather Harding is the vice president of research and public affairs for Teach For America, where she is responsible for managing external research partnerships, developing impact evaluation projects, and coordinating organizationwide research priorities. In the mid-1990s she served as executive director of Teach For America’s Eastern North Carolina region. Harding’s professional career has spanned classroom teaching, professional development, and empirical research. Her doctoral thesis documented the work of four successful white urban middle school teachers. Her areas of expertise include culturally relevant pedagogy, urban school reform, qualitative research, and teacher education. A trained journalist, Harding attended the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and retains her love of investigative research and artful writing.

    Sharon Greenberg is cofounder of the Center for School Improvement at the University of Chicago (now the Urban Education Institute). In Chicago she also served as a literacy consultant to the Chicago Public Schools chief education officer. Recent work in California includes charter school design, and consulting as a senior researcher on the Performance-based Assessment of Literacy Coaching (PALC) and an investigation of early-career English language arts teachers in New York City middle schools. Presently Greenberg consults for the Aspen Institute, where she manages the Building a Teaching Effectiveness Network (BTEN). She also consults with the Carnegie Foundation on strategic planning. Greenberg is an “Improvement Advisor” with certification from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

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    Spring 2012 Issue

    Abstracts

    “A Few of the Brightest, Cleanest Mexican Children”
    School Segregation as a Form of Mundane Racism in Oxnard, California, 1900–1940
    David G. García, Tara J. Yosso, and Frank P. Barajas
    Changing Our Landscape of Inquiry for a New Science of Education
    Gary Thomas
    Institutional Racist Melancholia
    A Structural Understanding of Grief and Power in Schooling
    Sabina Vaught
    Symposium: By What Measure?
    Mapping and Expanding the Teacher Effectiveness Debate
    Contextual Influences on Inquiries into Effective Teaching and Their Implications for Improving Student Learning
    Anthony Bryk, Heather Harding, and Sharon Greenberg
    Having It Both Ways
    Building the Capacity of Individual Teachers and Their Schools
    Susan Moore Johnson
    Refocusing the Debate
    Assessing the Purposes and Tools of Teacher Evaluation
    John Papay
    A Collaborative Effort
    Peer Review and the History of Teacher Evaluations in Montgomery County, Maryland
    Jeremy P. Sullivan
    “We Are the Ones in the Classrooms—Ask Us!”
    Student Voice in Teacher Evaluations
    Boston Student Advisory Council

    Book Notes

    Our Difficult Sunlight
    Georgia A. Popoff and Quraysh Ali Lansana