The Teaching Gap: Best Ideas from the World's Teachers for Improving Education in the Classroom

The Teaching Gap: Best Ideas from the World's Teachers for Improving Education in the Classroom

by James W. Stigler, James Hiebert
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The Teaching Gap: Best Ideas from the World's Teachers for Improving Education in the Classroom by James W. Stigler, James Hiebert

Comparing math teaching practices in Japan and Germany with those in the United States, two leading researchers offer a surprising new view of teaching and a bold action plan for improving education inside the American classroom.
For years our schools and children have lagged behind international standards in reading, arithmetic, and most other areas of academic achievement. It is no secret that American schools are in dire need of improvement, and that education has become our nation's number-one priority. But even though almost every state in the country is working to develop higher standards for what students should be learning, along with the means for assessing their progress, the quick-fix solutions implemented so far haven't had a noticeable impact.
The problem, as James Stigler and James Hiebert explain, is that most efforts to improve education fail because they simply don't have any impact on the quality of teaching inside classrooms. Teaching, they argue, is cultural. American teachers aren't incompetent, but the methods they use are severely limited, and American teaching has no system in place for getting better. It is teaching, not teachers, that must be changed.
In The Teaching Gap, the authors draw on the conclusions of the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) -- an innovative new study of teaching in several cultures -- to refocus educational reform efforts. Using videotaped lessons from dozens of randomly selected eighth-grade classrooms in the United States, Japan, and Germany, the authors reveal the rich, yet unfulfilled promise of American teaching and document exactly how other countries have consistently stayed ahead of us in the rate their children learn. Our schools can be restructured as places where teachers can engage in career-long learning and classrooms can become laboratories for developing new, teaching-centered ideas. If provided the time they need during the school day for collaborative lesson study and plan building, teachers will change the way our students learn.
James Stigler and James Hiebert have given us nothing less than a "best practices" for teachers -- one that offers proof that how teachers teach is far more important than increased spending, state-of-the-art facilities, mandatory homework, or special education -- and a plan for change that educators, teachers, and parents can implement together.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416586388
Publisher: Free Press
Publication date: 11/01/2007
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

James Stigler, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at UCLA and Director of the TIMSS video studies, is coauthor of Simon & Schuster's highly praised book The Learning Gap: Why Our Schools Are Failing and What We Can Learn from Japanese and Chinese Education. He lives in Los Angeles.

James Hiebert, Ph.D., is H. Rodney Sharp Professor of Education at the University of Delaware and coauthor of the popular book for teachers, Making Sense: Teaching and Learning Mathematics with Understanding. He lives in Kemblesville, Pennsylvania.

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Teaching Gap: Best Ideas from the World's Teachers for Improving Education in the Classroom 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Phoenix_Teaching More than 1 year ago
The Teaching Gap by James W. Stigler and James Hiebert is a book focused on where the U.S. educational system is currently in comparison with other countries. These authors set out to study the differences in teaching methods by videoing eighth grade math classes in Japan, Germany, and the United States. To try to ensure the study was unbiased they also facilitated scientists from Japan, Germany and the United States. Over the course of several months they analyzed hundreds of videotapes of actual classrooms which consisted of 100 in Germany, 50 in Japan, and 81 in the United States, all of whom were chosen randomly. Based on their observations they characterize international eighth grade math teaching as follows: Germany: "Developing Advanced Procedures"; Japan: "Structured problem solving" and the United States: "Learning terms and practicing procedures". Repeatedly stated throughout the book was that American teachers appear to focus more on theorems and repetitious drills, however; in Germany and Japan the students are encouraged, if not required, to use active thinking and problem solving. The importance of this book stands for teachers in the United States is the realization that not only can you teach students so that they will have the basis to pass the standardized exams, but that it can be done in such a way that they will grow their knowledge base. A coherent lesson plan that challenges and encourages students to increase their problem-solving skills is imperative in today's society and mindless drills and busy work will not accomplish this task. Education is always changing and educators need to change with it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anyone serious about understanding the results of the TIMMS report and how it relates to us as math teachers, or teachers in general, should read this book. The section discussing lesson study is very interesting. Lesson study is currently popping up all over the country and is starting a grassroots teacher centered professional development process that holds much promise. Bottom line, if you only read one book on teaching math it should be this one.
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Hello i havent read this book and would like to know how is it. Is it exelant for kids because i have a little girl who loves school and gets straaight a's besides in math. I would like to get her this because her grades keep dropping and i would like to help her. I wish i knew what was botherig her because if i did i would have done helped her. If you can give me advise just comment i will check this every day. Plus if you have daughter we cn set up playdate nd we adults can talk. She has a c in math now and her scoe kep getting lower nd i would like to know will you help. Thank you for taking a few minutes of your time reading this if you did.