There are four kinds of routines advised by the author:-I-RReinforcements, guessing games, I-R Probes and Dismissals. These activities areimportant for the time management and engagement of the students in theclassroom. Teachers are often concerned withthe completion of the daily agenda and therefore they cannot allow or permitmuch engagement in the classroom to avoid distraction. The reformers mustconsider the content to be covered in the academic year and “activeintellectual engagement”The chapter 5, “Constructing the Day’s Agenda” discusses threekinds of teaching practices: designing learning outcomes, presentation of thecontent and designing activities to achieve the objectives of the lesson plan.The teacher has to achieve the learning outcomes that are part of the dailyagenda of the classroom but involving students in the activities can make the teacher’sjob difficult.
No matter how hard the teacher tries but she /he cannot ensurethe learning and intellectual engagement of all the students. The variety ofactivities distract the students from the content and it becomes difficult for theteacher to bring them back to the track. Chapter 6, “Sources of Problems in teaching”, the author hassummarized the problems faced by the teachers and the perspective of reformers.The teachers had a different paradigm of looking on to the issues of theclassroom. The teachers were more concerned about the universal participationof the students rather than universal intellectual engagement of the students.
They were taking into account the issues of the classroom that were somehowignored by the uniform ideals. The reformers’ criticism is then discussed underthree points:”Important ideas are suppressed”i.e the statements used by the teacherswere often misleading which led to confusion about the activities, the contentwas not portrayed in the right way. “In a very small number of cases, theentire lesson appeared to be seriously disorganized and confusing.”(pg.
162).””Intellectual engagement is suppressed”, i.e. the ideas of thestudents and their definition of the particular concept is not often valued bythe teacher and the teacher wants all the student to perceive the idea as he asperceived himself.The chapter argues that there is a huge difference in the beliefs andimages of the teachers and the reformers. The areas teachers are concernedabout and the areas of utmost importance to the reformers show that theirlenses are different. “Sources of improvements in Teaching”, chapter 7 discusses thefactors that can stimulate the teachers to change their teaching practices.Teachers get motivated by the new idea but they only practice the idea in theirteaching if it is consistent with their images beliefs and values.
If thereforms ideals ideas do not match the teacher’s belief they are more unlikelyto implement the ideas in their daily teaching practices. The author didn’tfind any evidence in her studies where beliefs and values can be modified butknowledge can serve as a stimulus to modify their beliefs. Three broadcategories have been identified by the author which can be the source of newideas for the teachers:-“informal, institutional and knowledge-vendingsources” that can create dissonance in the teachers to modify their beliefsand values. The reformers should therefore provide professional development atthe institutional level for the up gradation of the ideas and modification oftheir beliefs to make them flexible enough to adopt new ideas in their teachingpractices that are being studied by the researchers. Chapter 8, “The problem of Reform” summarizes the whole study andrecommends that there is a difference in the beliefs of the reform ideals andthe teachers so the reformers must also take into account teachers concerns inorder to implement the reform ideals and align these reform ideals with theimages and beliefs of the teachers. The reform ideals also need to provideprofessional development to the teachers to effectively implement the new ideasin their teaching practices.
I found the book very interesting and informative as it’s an ongoingdebate that the teachers are not able to implement what reform ideals suggests.The book provides reformers to consider the areas of concerns for the teachersand provide tem professional development to at least get motivated and knowabout the latest strategies. Introduction to new knowledge would createdissonance and the teacher would gradually be motivated to implement it intheir classroom practices. Whereas italso provides a ground for the teachers to understand and implement newstrategies. The book also serves policy makers to device policies in such a waythat teachers can be the lifelong learners.