Academic journal article English Journal

From the Editors

Academic journal article English Journal

From the Editors

Article excerpt

Teaching is a complex interpersonal and intraper- sonal activity that involves engagement in numer- ous spheres. It requires investment in intellectual, physical, psychological, social, and emotional domains; and, as we know from understanding childhood and adolescent development, growth in various domains is neither simultaneous nor paral- lel. Progress occurs in fits and starts-and entails errors, occasional regression, and critical reflec- tion. To be meaningful and lasting, learning must be authentic, relevant, and connect to our lives in ways that reach beyond boundaries associated with cognition.

The journey from novice to expert is circu- itous, slippery, and steep. It is also long. Expe- rienced educators understand that there are no shortcuts; the work of teaching involves curves that cannot always be mapped or predicted. Teacher travelers need stamina, support, scaffolding, and comfortable shoes. They need regular breaks, areas where they can stop to admire the landscape, and- once in a while-a boost.

Given the challenges of the educator's expedi- tion, this issue explores how teachers can support one another on the journey from novice to expert. Authors consider strategies that have worked for them, investigate how mentoring affects the process of professional development, and ponder the ways in which novice teachers differ from expert teachers. In today's political context wherein the autonomy of public educators is being systematically dimin- ished, Peter Taubman argues for professional study as a means of reclaiming the complexities of our work. …

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