Larry Cuban Sobre Professores E Políticos

Republicação de um texto com 9 anos que o autor, acertadamente, considera manter-se actual:

Consider when a new instructionally-driven policy, say, hand-held electronic devices or a new reading program appears. Teachers ask: Can I learn it quickly or do I have to spend a lot of time figuring out what to do? Will it motivate my students? Does the program contain skills that are connected to what I am expected to teach and what students need? What happens if I need immediate help? Seldom do policymakers either anticipate or pay attention to such practical questions.

These questions reveal that teachers prize ideas and actions that payoff in learning and meaningful relationships with students. They seek concrete and specific solutions to practical classroom problems. The incentives that drive teachers to teach better in their classrooms come more from internal values than external rewards: the joys of seeing students learn and achieve goals, the service they render to society, and similar psychic rewards.

The world policymakers inhabit differs greatly. Their world is largely political where election cycles, budgets, media attention, and measurable outcomes determine job longevity and personal satisfaction. Incentives such as re-election, influencing others, and positive media dominate daily routines. The values of efficiency, effectiveness, and popularity rule.

Obviously, the worlds of teachers and policymakers overlap when it comes to the values of effectiveness although each would define differently which effects are most important and the measures used. Efficiency at the school and district levels—squeezing more test scores out of every dollar spent– is far more a policymaker value than one held by teachers.

In these different worlds, teachers bring moral and service values that differ from the technical, scientific, and reputational values that policy makers hold. Of course teachers seek improvement in students’ test scores but they prize far more changes in students’ attitudes, values, and actual behavior on academic and nonacademic tasks.


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