Is There a 'Recipe for Good Teaching'?
In a post on the Harvard Business Review's Innovations in Education blog, a Harvard-trained social entrepeneur discusses an initiative his company created to improve teacher quality in India by developing a "recipe for good teaching." Part of this involved creating a 'micro-process' for teaching that essentially anatomizes the instructional protocals for different concepts. As he describes the finished product (in a sentence that kind of boggles the mind):
We created a teachers' toolkit that mapped every concept in the Indian K-8 syllabus into 8000-plus detailed experiential teaching plans ...
The author claims that implementing this toolkitin addition to providing ongoing training in effective classroom practice and a "continuous assessment system"visably improved teachers' skills and students' grasp of concepts (though, interestingly, he provides no hard evidence for this). He also praises similar pedagogical approaches being used around the world, including Doug Lemov's Teach Like a Champion taxonomy.
The question left gapingly unaddressed, though, is where you draw the line between giving practical guidance and checklist-like support to teachers and creating a thoroughly mechanized profession.