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Topic: New Book: The Teaching Gap
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 16,576
Registered: 12/3/04
New Book: The Teaching Gap
Posted: Aug 24, 1999 12:46 PM
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A new book by James W. Stigler and James Hiebert

THE TEACHING GAP: Best Ideas from the World's Teachers for Improving
Education In the Classroom (New York: Free Press, September 1999).

Based on data from the TIMSS Video Study, the authors present their views
on the nature of classroom teaching and how to improve it.

**Now available at

**A web site has been established for readers to discuss the book:


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

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, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at UCLA and Director of the
TIMSS Video Study, is co-author of Simon and 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 co-author of the popular book for teachers
Making Sense: Teaching and Learning Mathematics with Understanding. He
lives in Kemblesville, Pennsylvania.


Ch. 1 The Teaching Gap
Ch. 2 Methods for Studying Teaching in Germany, Japan, and the United
Ch. 3 Images of Teaching
Ch. 4 Refining the Images
Ch. 5 Teaching Is a System
Ch. 6 Teaching Is a Cultural Activity
Ch. 7 Beyond Reform: Japan's Approach to the Improvement of Classroom
Ch. 8 Setting the Stage for Continuous Improvement
Ch. 9 The Steady Work of Improving Teaching
Ch. 10 The True Profession of Teaching

Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610 USA
Fax: (618)453-4244
Phone: (618)453-4241 (office)

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