Teaching in a Secondary School

By Robert Griffin | Go to book overview

Introduction

At one level, this is a book of essays about teaching and learning in a secondary school. By secondary school I mean middle schools, junior high schools, high schools, grades six or seven through 12 -- that aspect of education. The students I discuss in these pages are in early and late adolescence and the teachers I refer to are those who work with people of this age. These essays deal with topics such as instructional methods, curriculum, evaluation, motivation, discipline, student attitudes and skills, and teaching as a career. At a more immediate and fundamental level, however, this book is about you and me. It is about what you and I are doing right now. I am expressing to you what I have learned over the years in this field and what I believe about teaching at this level. Also, I am putting together everything I have studied and thought and done in education thus far in order to see what it looks like and what it tells me about where I have been and where I need to go. As for you, I hope that you are analyzing what I say as part of your quest to become more informed, more purposeful, more capable, and more fulfilled as a teacher and as a person.

When I speak directly to you, as I do throughout the book, I am assuming that you are most likely in training to become a teacher and that you are reading this book for a course in that program, or that you might be in your first year or two in teaching and this book is required in your graduate studies or an inservice course you are taking. But while I write with the idea that this is who you are, I also hope this book is useful to you if you are an experienced teacher or a teacher reading this book on your own, or a school administrator or curriculum specialist or university person or researcher or journalist or politician or school board member or parent. Regardless of the slot you fit into at this point in your life, however, I think it helps if you read this from the perspective that when I refer to you I mean you, the person looking at this page this very moment.

I would like you to see this book as a conversation between you and me. I hope you listen carefully to what I have to say. Know what anything I tell you means to me and where it fits into my overall perspective on schools and on life. Then go beyond taking in my ideas. Attend to yourself at the same time that you focus on my message to you. What thoughts and feelings are evoked in you by what I say? Can you deepen or extend or elaborate upon

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Teaching in a Secondary School
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Teaching as Work 5
  • 2 - The Self-Surpassing Classroom 11
  • Conclusion 19
  • 3 - Our Values Matter 21
  • 4 - A Focus on Studenting 27
  • 5 - Getting Students to Think for Themselves 31
  • SUMMING UP 40
  • 6 - What is a Good Student Like? 41
  • Conclusion 48
  • 7 - The Importance of Language 50
  • 8 - What Can a Good Student Do? 65
  • Conclusion 71
  • 9 - Teaching Values: The Early Years 72
  • Conclusion 78
  • 10 - What Can Get in the Way of Being a Good Student? 80
  • 11 - Curriculum 88
  • 12 - Becoming a Good Student in School 114
  • 13 - Discussions, Lectures, and Textbooks 124
  • 14 - Motivation 138
  • 15 - Style Counts 149
  • 16 - Advice to a Student on Achieving in School 156
  • 17 - Teaching Values: The Later Years 162
  • 18 - Thoughts on Discipline 181
  • 19 - Helping Students Become More Effective in School 191
  • 20 - Evaluation 200
  • 21 - Planning 211
  • 22 - Teaching and You 229
  • Acknowledgments 239
  • Endnotes 240
  • Index 247
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