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American Educator
Summer 2011


Table of Contents


Bridging the “Widest Street in the World”
Reflections on the History of Teacher Education
By Jeffrey Mirel

The long-standing divide between education school faculty members and their liberal arts colleagues has hindered teacher education in America. Instead of continuing to debate the relative merits of pedagogy versus content, professors on both sides should realize that prospective teachers need to know not only their subject matter, but also how to teach it so students will understand.

Pedagogical Content Knowledge for World History Teachers
By Lauren McArthur Harris and Robert B. Bain

Building a Common Core for Learning to Teach
And Connecting Professional Learning to Practice
By Deborah Loewenberg Ball and Francesca M. Forzani

Now that the vast majority of states have adopted the Common Core State Standards, another opportunity to improve American education presents itself: establishing a common core of professional knowledge and skills for prospective teachers.

Ask the Cognitive Scientist
Can Teachers Increase Students’ Self-Control?
By Daniel T. Willingham

For some children, staying on task—especially in the face of distractions and provocations—is very difficult. Research suggests that teachers, by providing a warm, responsive, consistent, and organized classroom environment, can help such students control their impulsive behavior.

“Paul Revere’s Ride”
Awakening Abolitionists
By Jill Lepore

A historian’s close reading of Longfellow’s poem reveals its subtle cry to end slavery.

Why I Force My Students to Memorize Poetry
Despite the Fact That It Won’t Be on the Standardized Test
By Andy Waddell

The Professional Educator
Lessons from Finland
By Pasi Sahlberg

Finland’s ascent to scoring at the top on international student assessments largely stems from its robust approach to teacher preparation. In Finland, teaching is an autonomous and respected profession that young people are eager to join.

All articles available in PDF format only.

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About American Educator

American Educator is a quarterly journal of educational research and ideas published by the American Federation of Teachers. Recent articles have focused on such topics as reducing the achievement gap between poor and affluent students, heading off student discipline problems, teaching an appreciation and understanding of democracy, the benefits of a common coherent curriculum, and other issues affecting children and education here and abroad. Total circulation, as of our most recent issue, is over 900,000.

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