Imagine a school where teaching is considered to be a profession rather than a trade. The role of teachers in a child’s education — and in American culture — has fundamentally changed. Teaching differs from the old “show-and-tell” practices as much as modern medical techniques differ from practices such as applying leeches and bloodletting.

Instruction doesn’t consist primarily of lecturing to students who sit in rows at desks, dutifully listening and recording what they hear, but, rather, offers every child a rich, rewarding, and unique learning experience. The educational environment isn’t confined to the classroom but, instead, extends into the home and the community and around the world. Information isn’t bound primarily in books; it’s available everywhere in bits and bytes.

Students aren’t consumers of facts. They are active creators of knowledge. Schools aren’t just brick-and-mortar structures — they’re centers of lifelong learning. And, most important, teaching is recognized as one of the most challenging and respected career choices, absolutely vital to the social, cultural, and economic health of our nation.

Today, the seeds of such a dramatic transformation in education are being planted. Prompted by massive revolutions in knowledge, information technology, and public demand for better learning, schools nationwide are slowly but surely restructuring themselves.

Leading the way are thousands of teachers who are rethinking every part of their jobs — their relationship with students, colleagues, and the community; the tools and techniques they employ; their rights and responsibilities; the form and content of curriculum; what standards to set and how to assess whether they are being met; their preparation as teachers and their ongoing professional development; and the very structure of the schools in which they work. In short, teachers are reinventing themselves and their occupation to better serve schools and students.  … Read More