The Quality Schoolgreenspun.com : LUSENET : MEd Cohort III : One Thread
The Quality School by William Glasser discusses what he believes are new ways to be an effective teacher. However, it has been my experience that many of techniques have been around, especially in the area of Special Education. The basis of this book is what I have been taught in my special education courses to work with children who have needs in the area of learning disabilities and emotional/behavioral disabilities.
Glasser gives us examples of what a lead teachers class may look like. This class would include discussing the subject being taught, defining it, and explaining why it is taught and how the students could use it in their lives. Relating subjects to reality or life issues is what is done in special education. Glasser also discusses working in small cooperative groups and letting the student guide the teacher's decision in when the test should be taken. Perhaps by looking at where the child is at in their assignments and giving the child a pretest to see where they need improvement. Glasser also states that time would never be a factor. As we know students in special education are allowed to go at there own pace. Of course, the way special education is done in the schools, it is very easy to follow the lead-teacher techniques. Class sizes are small and it is the over all theory in special education to be child-centered.
When I look back at the teachers I respected in school as a student and the teachers I worked with as a collegue, I definately see a relationship to "successful teachers" and Glassers definition of lead-teaching. Individual teachers who were thought to be respected by the students had many of these qualities in their classrooms. They also had the least amount of discipline problems from the students. As Glasser states "lead teachers do not coerce: They talk to students and work out ways to solve problems. This is what I see from "successful teachers". From my own experience I know that classes that had the teachers who had some of the lead-teacher attributes are the ones I worked the hardest for. It also didn't matter what the subject was.
I think it would be very difficult for many teachers who have some of Glasser's attributes to keep teaching this way. It would be difficult because of many school systems "boss-technique", though no one calls it that. School systems need to remember what teaching is all about and perhaps buy into Glasser's approach or Special Education theory. This would give the teachers support in continuing and improving their child centered classroom.
-- Anonymous, December 16, 1998
I agree wholeheartedly with your interpretation of Glasser. Unfortunately, I find myself at a disadvantage analyzing my teaching techniques because I am not a seasoned educator. With more time my responses to education will become more flavorful and respected because I will accumulate time and experience. Ironically, my lack of experience is only from the teaching standpoint...I have spent my life as a student and just like you, I found myself willing to work for teachers that allowed their students to have a choice and become a part of the planning process in class. I find it interesting that numerous teachers are familiar with Glasser and adopt his philosophies into their education techniques but administrators often condemn these actions. There is something terribly amiss with 'boss-lead' education. I truly believe that a quality school is a product of combining administration with education rather than administrating over education. On a side note, my cynical side ponders the idea of Glasser first calling his theory "control theory." This title seems counterproductive and 'boss-lead,' I suppose this is why he changed the title...I wonder if administrators will ever change their titles...
-- Anonymous, December 27, 1998
I agreed with your comments Valerie and your interpretation of Glasser's theory of a quality school. I especially liked your connection to special ed. theory and Glasser's ideas for what a quality school would look like. You are so right! I wonder when the parents of mainstream students will see the irony in this and begin demanding the quality of special ed. for their "typical" kids?
-- Anonymous, January 24, 1999