On Teaching (Elliot Eisner)

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Too few policymakers have ever taught in public schools. Even fewer can say clearly exactly what it is about teaching young children, youth, and adults that binds teachers and students together and makes the experience of learning memorable, satisfying, and long-lasting. One person I knew well was Elliot Eisner. He has expressed the many satisfactions that inhere to teaching in a fluent and thoughtful way.

Elliot Eisnerwas Professor Emeritus of Education and Art at Stanford University. He taught in the Chicago public schools before becoming a professor. This is an abridged version of his 2006 Commencement talk to School of Education graduates and their families. Eisner died in 2014.

Among the many satisfactions in teaching there are six I would like to describe. The first pertains to the opportunity to introduce students to ideas that they can chew on for the rest of their lives. Great teaching traffics in enduring…

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