Published: November 11, 2014
Publisher: The New Press
Trim: 5.50 x 8.25 Inches
The Teaching Brain
An Evolutionary Trait at the Heart of Education
Vanessa Rodriguez, Michelle Fitzpatrick
By Vanessa Rodriguez and Michelle Fitzpatrick
About the Book“A significant contribution to understanding the interaction among teachers, students, the environment, and the content of learning” (Herbert Kohl, education advocate and author).
What is at work in the mind of a five-year-old explaining the game of tag to a new friend? What is going on in the head of a thirty-five-year-old parent showing a first-grader how to button a coat? And what exactly is happening in the brain of a sixty-five-year-old professor discussing statistics with a room full of graduate students?
While research about the nature and science of learning abounds, shockingly few insights into how and why humans teach have emerged—until now. Countering the dated yet widely held presumption that teaching is simply the transfer of knowledge from one person to another, The Teaching Brain weaves together scientific research and real-life examples to show that teaching is a dynamic interaction and an evolutionary cognitive skill that develops from birth to adulthood. With engaging, accessible prose, Harvard researcher Vanessa Rodriguez reveals what it actually takes to become an expert teacher. At a time when all sides of the teaching debate tirelessly seek to define good teaching—or even how to build a better teacher—The Teaching Brain upends the misguided premises for how we measure the success of teachers.
“A thoughtful analysis of current educational paradigms . . . Rodriguez’s case for altering pedagogy to match the fluctuating dynamic forces in the classroom is both convincing and steeped in common sense.” —Publishers Weekly