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September 1, 2021
Vol. 79
No. 1

Relevant Read / Better Methods

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    Instructional Strategies
    September 2021 Relevant Read header image
      Why Are We Still Doing That? Positive Alternatives to Problematic Teaching Practices by Pérsida & Bill Himmele (ASCD, 2021)
      It’s always difficult to shake off bad habits—especially now, after a year of routines under quarantine. But as teachers recuperate from the challenges of the pandemic, they can also turn their attention to some common educational ­practices that might not be serving their students as well as they think.
      In their new book Why Are We Still Doing That? authors Pérsida and Bill Himmele take a close look at 16 classroom practices worth reexamining. The book—written for educators of all levels, including preservice—aims to help teachers and school leaders answer a simple question: Which practices actually work and which are better left behind? Using straightforward, research-driven analysis, the authors identify strategies—even quite familiar ones, such as round robin reading or using behavior charts—that can present problems for some students. Through an empathetic and teacher-positive lens, they unpack how these well-intentioned approaches ­sometimes fail.
      But no need for despair! The writers also explain exactly how teachers can still meet the goals these less effective methods were intended to achieve. They provide easy-to-implement—and proven—instructional, assessment, and classroom ­management strategies. 
      The Himmeles strike a personable, engaging tone throughout their analysis, providing supportive guidance for teachers looking to develop new, effective ways to work with students. As schools across the country begin to turn a new page on distance learning and COVID-era instruction, such wisdom will be more important than ever.

      Noble Ingram is the Associate Online Editor of Educational Leadership magazine.

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