Everyone a Teacher

Everyone a Teacher

Description

“All of us teach,” begins Mark Schwehn’s anthology of readings on teaching and learning. Teaching is woven into the fabric of our everyday lives. It includes training children, forming habits and characters, witnessing to a way of life, nurturing reflection and imagination, and imparting goals as well as facts and skills. Teachers are parents, grandparents, spouses, friends, neighbors, pastors, siblings, and co-workers, as well as professional educators. Most people know good teaching when they encounter it, Schwehn argues, and few would identify it with a list of techniques. Although good teaching often seems closer to an art than a skill, teaching is not an occult practice, but a public activity that can be improved by practice and questioning and demonstrated by good examples. Through Schwehn’s choice of examples and deft introductions, Everyone a Teacher is an argument for a rich account of good teaching. It invites reflection yet avoids the abstractions of psychology and educational theory. From Socrates teaching a Greek slave boy geometry to Mark Twain’s river-boat pilot on the Mississippi, from a real classroom of kindergarten children in Chicago to the parents who tenderly raise their child in Agee’s A Death in the Family, the readings remind us of the historical and human importance of teaching and of the qualities of good teaching. These readings are intended to help us all think about the meaning of teaching and learning, for the sake of improving our teaching in everyday life.