I just read the March 2 NYT Magazine article Building a Better Teacher that looks at the "hidden game" of accomplished teaching. Doug Lemov, teacher, principal, charter-school founder and consultant, decided to study the methods of champion teachers who, working under the most challenging circumstances, are able to reach and teach kids and ultimately, significantly, increase their achievement. His findings, referred to as Lemov's Taxonomy, isolate 49 instructional strategies that make a difference. From "cold call" questioning where every kid gets ready to answer to the "strong voice" technique that ensures a teacher's words are heard, Lemov digs into seemingly small but significant communication and management methods that increase a teacher's effectiveness. The "Taxonomy" is presented in a new book due in April:
Teach Like a Champion: The 49 Techniques That Put Students on the Path to College. (Amazon offers a discount if you preorder!)
I look forward to reading about the strategies and imagining how they apply to the PBL classroom. I wonder, if we were to drill down into the methods of exemplary PBL teachers, would we identify techniques that are unique to the PBL-constructivist setting? I look forward to reading with my PBL lenses on.