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Becoming a Better Teacher: Eight Innovations That Work


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Becoming a Better Teacher provides K–12 educators with key information about some of the most effective teaching and learning tools available today—in one convenient publication. Each of the innovations has a long history of use and has been researched and evaluated in a variety of settings. Giselle Marting-Kniep chose these specific innovations because, as a whole, they foster a student-centered classroom environment that is both equitable and rigorous. In separate chapters for each topic, she addresses (1) essential questions, (2) curriculum integration, (3) standards-based curriculum and assessment design, (4) authentic assessment, (5) scoring rubrics, (6) portfolios, (7) reflection, and (8) action research. Annotated lists of recommended resources provide suggestions for further exploration of each topic.

Table of contents


The Power of Essential Questions

Curriculum Integration as a Tool for Coherence

Authentic Assessment

About the authors

Giselle O. Martin-Kniep was the president of Learner-Centered Initiatives, Ltd., an educational consulting organization specializing in regional and school-based curriculum and assessment. Her work focused on building inclusive and collaborative, cross-cultural communities where students and teachers were encouraged to share practices and learn with one another. She earned a master's in international development followed by a PhD in education and political science from Stanford University. She served as a program evaluator, curriculum auditor, researcher, and teacher educator. As a consultant, she worked with more than 500 schools and districts both nationally and internationally in the areas of alternative assessment, student-driven curriculum design, school change, and action research and directed comprehensive, multiyear professional development programs for K–12 teachers. She also worked as a consultant for the International Baccalaureate and the New York State Department of Education, taught in the School of Education at Adelphi University, and served as president and CEO of the Center for the Study of Expertise in Teaching and Learning.

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