Becoming a Better Teacher: Eight Innovations That Work

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This is a brief book that explores eight, worthwhile, research-based classroom innovations that foster student-centered classroom environments worth implementing into today's school settings. Each of the eight innovations—essential questions, curriculum integration, standards-based curriculum and assessment design, authentic assessment, scoring rubrics, portfolios reflection, and action research— is justified through detailed explanation, ways to implement it into the classroom, and how to adapt the strategy to meet the needs of diverse classroom environments. Readers will find balanced examples from every grade level, in addition to curriculum design modules, and easy-to-use templates for applying the innovations and strategies into the classroom immediately. For educators, instructors, counselors, and academic evaluators.

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Editorial Reviews

Provides K-12 educators with information on some of the most effective teaching and learning tools available today. Each of these innovations has a long history of use and has been studied and evaluated in a variety of settings. Innovations were chosen because they foster a student-centered classroom that is both equitable and rigorous. Innovations covered are essential questions, curriculum integration, standards-based curriculum and assessment design, authentic assessment, scoring rubrics, portfolios, reflection, and action research. Includes examples from different grade levels, plus design modules, templates, and checklists. The author is president of an educational consulting organization. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From The Critics
Becoming A Better Teacher: Eight Innovations That Work provides K-12 classroom teachers with fundamental information about some of the most effective teaching and learning tools available today. Each of the eight innovations covered has a long history of use and have been researched and evaluated in a variety of settings. In sperate chapter for each topic, educator Giselle Martin-Kniep addresses essential questions, curriculum integration, standards-based curriculum and assessment design, authentic assessment, scoring rubrics, portfolios, reflection, and action researched. Becoming A Better Teacher is enhanced further with annotated lists of recommended resources providing suggestions for further exploration of each topic. With its numerous examples drawn from all grade levels (along with design modules, templates, and checklists), Becoming A Better Teacher is highly recommended for students seeking a teaching certificate and career, and as an in-service training text for novice and experienced K-12 classroom educators and supervisors.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780871203854
  • Publisher: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development
  • Publication date: 1/28/2000
  • Pages: 156
  • Sales rank: 514,629
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.33 (d)

Meet the Author

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep is the president of Learner-Centered Initiatives, Ltd., an educational consulting organization specializing in regional and school-based curriculum and assessment. Martin-Kniep has a strong background in organizational change, a doctorate in social sciences in education, and an Ed.S. degree in educational evaluation from Stanford University. From 1990 to 1995 she was a faculty member in the School of Education at Adelphi University. She has served as a program evaluator, a curriculum auditor, a researcher, and a teacher educator. Since 1990, she has worked with over 500 schools and districts both nationally and internationally in the areas of alternative assessment, integrated curriculum design, school change, and action research. She currently directs more than 35 comprehensive, multiyear regional and school-based national and international professional development programs for K-12 teachers. She also works as a consultant for the International Baccalaureate and the New York State Department of Education. In addition, she is president and CEO of the Center for the Study of Expertise in Teaching and Learning.

Martin-Kniep has written numerous books, chapters in edited texts, and articles. Her two most recent publications are Why Am I Doing This? Purposeful Teaching Through Portfolio Assessment (Heinemann, 1998) and Capturing the Wisdom of Practice: Portfolios for Teachers and Administrators (ASCD, 1999).

Diane Cunningham (author of Chapter 8, "Action Research: Asking and Answering Questions About Practice") is an educational consultant for Learner-Centered Initiatives. Over the past 12 years she has engaged in various action research projects and has guided many teachers and administrators in carrying out action research. She coauthored a chapter on authentic assessment and is co-editor of Why Am I Doing This? Purposeful Teaching Through Portfolio Assessment.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures


Chapter One: The Power of Essential Questions

Chapter Two: Curriculum Integration as a Tool for Coherence

Chapter Three: Standards-Based Curriculum and Assessment Design

Chapter Four: Authentic Assessment

Chapter Five: Using Scoring Rubrics to Support Learning

Chapter Six: Portfolios: A Window into Students' Thinking and Learning

Chapter Seven: Reflection: A Key to Developing Greater Self-Understanding

Chapter Eight: Action Research: Asking and Answering Questions About Practice by Diane Cunningham

Chapter Nine: Embracing It All

Appendix A: Tools for Developing a Curriculum Unit

Appendix B: Tools for Developing Authentic Assessments

Appendix C: Tools for Designing Portfolio Assessments

Appendix D: Reflection Prompts and Questions

Appendix E: Tools for Action Research

References and Resources


About the Authors

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