Summary: Geologists study volcanoes for years yet cannot predict exactly which will be the next to erupt. Meteorologists use highly advanced technology to study weather patterns but cannot forecast the weather with certainty. Teachers can present the same lesson to two classes, only to have it succeed one time and fail the next.
Why is there such uncertainty in these situations? Because these are all complex systems. In the complex world of teaching, teachers face ...show morenumerous unpredictable challenges from the dynamic interactions of teacher, student, curriculum, school, community, and culture.
How do teachers manage to teach in such a complex world? To answer this question, the Editors of the Harvard Educational Review have collected the best writings on teaching published in the Review in The Complex World of Teaching. Part One, "Inner Worlds," explores the private aspects of teachers' and students' lives that, although hidden, have a great impact on teaching and learning. Part Two, "Outer Worlds," focuses on how powerful economic, social, political, and cultural forces from outside the classroom shape the work of teachers and students. Part Three, "The Complex World of Teaching," illuminates how the intersection of the inner and outer worlds creates the dynamic complexity that is both the joy and the frustration of teaching.
The Complex World of Teaching refuses to reduce teaching to a set of recipes, or to talk about teaching abstracted from practice. The Editors have combined theoretical chapters with studies from individual classrooms written by teachers themselves to capture the true complexity of teaching. Readers can join teachers as they recount their struggles and triumphs in the classroom pieces, and then move to the theoretical pieces to analyze the larger forces that shape those moments.
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