A Conception of Teaching / Edition 1

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The Publisher notes with profound regret that Nathaniel "Nate" Lees Gage, a Stanford professor emeritus of education who has been called the "father of modern research on teaching," died Aug. 17 at Stanford Hospital. He was 91.

After everything else has been done and provided—the money raised; the schools erected; the curricula developed; the administrators, supervisors, and teachers trained; the parents and other citizens consulted—we come to teaching, where all of it makes contact with students, and the teacher influences students’ knowledge, understanding, appreciations, and attitudes in what we hope will be desirable ways. Teaching is well-nigh the point of the whole educational enterprise and establishment aimed at producing student learning.

The literature of the behavioral and social sciences is full of theory and research on learning and memory. Teaching is comparatively a stepchild, neglected by those who have built a formidable body of theories of learning and memory. However, teaching is where learning and memory theory should pay off.

A Conception of Teaching dedicates a chapter to each of the following important components: the need for a theory; the possibility of a theory; the evolution of a paradigm for the study of teaching; a conception of the process of teaching; a conception of the content of teaching; a conception of students’ cognitive capabilities and motivations; a conception of classroom management; and the integration of these conceptions.

Written in a highly accessible style, while maintaining a base in research, Dr. Nathaniel L. Gage presents A Conception of Teaching with clarity and well situated within current educational debates.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Until now, no theory of teaching has existed. "A Conception of Teaching" is an important contribution toward that end. This is a unique work from a pre-eminent figure in the field of education and is certain to stimulate debate.

I would recommend this new book, written by the father of the field of research on teaching, to all those involved in research on teaching and teacher education.

-Dr. David C. Berliner

The work of N.L. Gage offers exceptional insight and breadth of scholarship, brings considerations of theory to research on teaching, integrates the research in this area, and changes how one summarizes research on the topic.

Expanding his original 1963 paradigm for research on teaching to include the 40 years of research completed since then, one of the most important figures in the field offers profound insight into teacher thought processes, the content of teaching, and student cognition. Gage brings all this work together, with scholarship and with care, providing a book only Gage could have written.

I believe this work should be read by all those who are involved in the practice, research, and study of teaching.

-Dr. Barak Rosenshine

This is an exciting book and no one is better qualified to write on the theory of teaching. Nate Gage, a pre-eminent figure in the field, provides a comprehensive treatment of the topic and accomplishes a very significant task.

The book will be of interest to all college teachers, and especially those working in the fields of educational psychology and teacher education.

This is a major work from an outstanding scholar at the pinnacle of his career.

-Dr. W.J. McKeachie

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780387094458
  • Publisher: Springer US
  • Publication date: 10/17/2008
  • Edition description: 2009
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 174
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Tribute vii

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xiii

1 An Agenda 1

Choices Among Alternative 2

A Theory of Teaching Rather than Instruction 2

A Theory of Teaching That is Both Descriptive and Prescriptive 3

A Conception of Teaching for Both Cognitive and Affective Objectives of Education 4

A Broadly Valid, Rather than Specifically Valid, Theory 4

A Theory of Teaching Actions and Teacher Characteristics 6

A Theory of Classroom Teaching Rather Than Any of the Challenges to Classroom Teaching 6

An Overview of Chapter 2-9 7

Chapter 2 7

Chapter 3 7

Chapter 4 8

Chapter 5 8

Chapter 6 9

Chapter 7 9

Chapter 8 9

Chapter 9 10

2 The Desirability and Possibility of a Theory of Teaching 11

Experimental Main Effects 13

A Major Review of Experimental Studies 13

Evaluating the Magnitude of Main Effects 14

But, Is Human Teaching Moribund? 20

Conceptions of Theory 21

Must Scientific Research Be Theory-Driven? 23

The Prior-Theory-is-Indispensable Position 24

The Prior-Theory-is-Not-Indispensable Position 24

Implicit Guiding Theories 25

Karl Popper's Resolution of the Issue 30

An Empirical Approach to Controversies About Scientific Method 30

The Faust-Meehl Proposal 31

Empirical Consensus in Defining Science 31

Theory as the Outcome of Research 32

The Neglect of Theory in Educational Research 32

Calls for Theory in Educational Research 33

Carroll's Model of School Learning 34

Questionings of the Value of Theory 35

B. F. Skinner's Position on Theory 35

Levels of Theory 36

Positions Against Theory 37

Knowledge Outcome and Knowledge Use 39

For Knowledge Producers 39

For Knowledge Users 39

3 The Evolution of a Paradigm for the Studyof Teaching 41

Evolution of the Paradigm 42

The Process-Achievement Paradigm 42

The Criterion-of-Teacher-Effectiveness Paradigm 42

Context Variables 43

The Teacher's-Thought-Processes Category 44

The Student's Thought Processes Category 46

The Variables in the Categories 47

The Presage Category 47

The Context Category 48

The Teacher's Thought Processes Category 48

The Variables in the Process [left and right arrow] Content of Teaching Category 49

The Student's Thought Processes Category 50

The Student Achievement Category 50

The Change from "Process" to "Process [left and right arrow] Content" 51

On the Process Side 52

On the Content Side 52

Relationships between All Possible Pairs 54

A Paradigm for the Study of Teaching 54

Two-way Relationships Between Pairs of Categories 55

Ways of Describing the Process of Teaching 56

Intra-Category Relationships 58

Inter-Category Relationships 58

Multivariate Relationships 58

Instructional alignment 59

4 A Conception of the Process of Teaching 61

Models of the Process of Teaching 62

Two Categories of Models 62

Progressive-Discovery-Constructivist Teaching 63

Conventional-Direct-Recitation Teaching 66

Empirical Studies of the Process of Teaching 68

A Historical Study 69

Observational Studies 69

Similarity of the Bellack Model to Computer-Assisted Instruction Frames 74

The Generalizability of the CDR Model 75

CDR Teaching Across Nations 75

CDR Teaching Across Subject Matters 76

The Reader's Memory 77

Present Status of the Search for the Prevalent Model of Teaching 77

Reasons for Suspending Judgment 78

Present Conclusion as a Conjecture 79

Why the Persistence of CDR Teaching? 79

Is Progressive Education Still Around? 83

5 A Conception of the Content of Teaching 85

The Neglect of Content in Process-Product Research on Teaching 85

The Garrison-Macmillan Critiques 86

Content Variation 88

Instructional Alignment 88

Approaches to Instructional Alignment 89

Instructional Alignment Summarized 91

Methods of Studying Instructional Alignment 91

Categorizations of Content 96

Taxonomies 97

Bloom's Taxonomy 97

The Anderson-Krathwohl Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessment 98

Types of Knowledge 98

6 Conceptions of Students' Cognitive Capabilities and Motivation 101

Two Components of Cognitive Capabilities 101

Intelligence 101

Prior Knowledge 102

Adjusting Teaching to Students' Cognitive Capabilities 103

Early Cognitive Capabilities 104

Cognitive Capabilities and Teaching Processes 104

Simplifying 105

Reducing Cognitive Load 106

A Clinical Approach 106

Tutoring 107

Teaching with Multiple Intelligences 107

Soliciting for Multiple Intelligences 109

Responding and Reacting for Multiple Intelligences 109

A Conception of Student Motivation 109

Behavioristic Approaches 110

Cognitive Approaches 111

7 A Conception of Classroom Management 113

Poverty 113

Poverty and the Superintendency 116

Classroom Management in General 116

Instructional Time 117

Studying Students' Thought Processes 118

Categories of Instructional Time 119

Classroom Management in Elementary Schools 120

Classroom Management in Secondary Schools 120

Avoiding Biases toward Students 121

8 Integrating the Conceptions 123

Sub-Theories 123

An Illustrative Theory Consisting of Sub-Theories 124

Scheme of Presentation of Sub-Theories 125

Sub-Theories of the Process of Teaching 125

Sub-Theories of Structuring 125

Functions of Structuring 126

Structuring as Lecturing 128

The Communicability of Teachers of Comprehensibility-Affecting Actions 132

Sub-Theories of Soliciting 134

Sub-Theories of Responding and Reacting 140

Sub-Theories of the Content of Teaching 141

Instructional Alignment 141

The Teacher's Choice of Content 142

Sub-Theories of Students' Cognitive Capabilities and Motivation 144

A Sub-Theory of Classroom Management 145

Integrating the Sub-Theories 146

The Culmination: Using the Theory 148

References 151

Author Index 165

Subject Index 171

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