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by Charlotte Danielson
Table of Contents
It is in the decisions about what we do, of course, that “the rubber hits the road.” When determining particular courses of action, educators draw on their beliefs and knowledge in light of what they are trying to achieve; any practices put in place must support the school's goals (what we want) while reflecting its underlying values (what we believe) and relevant research (what we know).
There is an especially close relationship between what we do and what we believe. We know that beliefs influence actions; but can actions also influence beliefs? There is considerable evidence that they can. For example, some teachers might believe, deep down and perhaps even subconsciously, that poor or minority students are incapable of higher-order analysis; when these students have difficulty with challenging concepts, such teachers might accept their struggle as reflective of “the way the world works” instead of aggressively helping the students master the material.
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