Robert addresses three major themes in the introduction to this book.
- Why great teaching should be the priority for school and college leaders and their teachers.
- Why the incessant debates about traditional teaching v progressive methods and direct instruction v enquiry learning are misguided; great teachers use both.
- How leaders can improve teaching and offer teachers greater autonomy while ensuring and maintaining rigour in the classroom.
Robert Powell shows, in the introduction, that pedagogy based on ideology and dogma has no place in our classrooms. Those who argue that there is a ‘best way’ to teach are mistaken and school leaders who accept these arguments need to take a closer look at the evidence. Great teachers, invariably passionate professionals, use a wide range of classroom techniques and should be allowed to meet the principles behind great teaching without resorting to the latest ‘fads’.
Having explored these issues in the introduction, where he sets out seven evidence-informed principles for great teaching, he then shares a menu of 157 practical techniques that teams can adopt to meet the principles in ways that suit their subjects and/or the ages that they teach.
The philosophy behind this book is explained in two free downloads, Introduction and Why Principles?