Teaching in Mind

Helping Teachers Mindfully Transform Education

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The Teaching in Mind website has been refocused on how the unconscious beliefs and values of teachers influence the education of our children. Since the 2nd edition of Teaching in Mind: How Teacher Thinking Shapes Education was published in 2010, the lives of teachers and students have undergone major changes. To this end, our goal is to publish an updated edition of Teaching in Mind by the end of 2017. Meanwhile, the key ideas about the effects of teacher beliefs can still be found here. New articles on the topic will be added as they are completed.

Other Articles

Articles about learning and assessment, historic foundations of education, current issues in education, and transforming education that previously appeared on this site can now be found at our sister site, Learning in Mind.

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Relevant Articles

In addition to the introductory articles on beliefs, values, and metaphors, here are some of the other articles that deal with various aspects of teacher thinking and the school environment.

The Meaning and Purpose of Education

The most read article on the Teaching in Mind site, this article has now moved to our sister site, Learning in Mind.

What is a Curriculum?

How does the official curriculum of a school compare to what is actually taught, learned, or tested. What does a school teach by reason of the kind of place it is? What does it teach by what it chooses to include or leave out of the official curriculum?

If We Should, Why Don't We?

Teachers are constantly bombarded with shoulds—what they should teach, how they should teach, how they should assess learning, how they should deal with disciplinary issues… One response you might make to a should is…according to who? What evidence is there that I should? And if these shoulds work so well for some, why don't they work equally well for all? Even when we believe we should, why don't we?

Beliefs About Knowledge

Many teachers believe that their job involves "giving" or transmitting knowledge to students. What is the nature of this knowledge? How does this type of instruction compare to the theories of Piaget and other constructivists?

The Danger of Labeling Students

[Note: The link will now take you to our sister site--Learning in Mind]. Schools are hotbeds of categorization—labeling. Honors, gifted, remedial, BD, ADHD, differently-abled, overachievers, underachievers… Worse, because many educators tend to focus on what needs to be "fixed" in a student, rather than on what already works well, those labels often force teachers into negative perceptions. The labels inhibit teachers from perceiving the strengths of the student. Mindfully choosing the labels you apply to others is one way to create major changes in yourself and the world in which you live and work.

Dangerous Dichotomies

Dichotomies are a favorite device in education. Constructivists battle instructivists, humanists battle intellectuals, standards battle in-depth learning. The military metaphor dominates the language of education. Ideas are seen as ammunition to shoot down the opposition. Teachers often take sides—align themselves with one camp or the other. What if we changed the metaphor? What if we tossed aside the dichotomies? What if we saw educational theories as a garden of resources from which people might choose depending on the circumstances? Or a toolbox filled with an assortment of tools for different purposes?

Who's Right? Who's Wrong

Educators spend a tremendous amount of time arguing about who is right and who is wrong. Which theory, which methods, which form of assessment is the "best"? Let's stop wasting our time in futile arguments that no one can win. Each ideas or theory contains some truth. Few, if any, are true in all contexts. Let's assume the attitude that there's something of value in each of these ideas and adopt a multiple-perspective approach to decision making.

What Do You Mean by That?

What does it mean to teach? To learn? To understand? Teachers and others in education throw these words around all the time, but they rarely, if ever, stop to explain what, specifically, they mean by them. This failure to define terms is a major source of misunderstanding in the educational community.

Teacher Quality and Teacher Qualifications

Is there a direct correlation between teacher quality—how effective they are in "moving every child ahead"—and teacher qualitications—the number of degrees they have or the courses they have taken? If not, what are the characteristics of effective teachers. Can they be "taught" to others?

Thought Viruses

Many of the statements made by teachers and administrators when speaking of teaching, learning, and other elements of education are beliefs, not facts. They are repeated so often that people assume they are true—even when they are only true in some contexts. Because they "infect" the minds of the listener, these commonly held beliefs are called "thought viruses." Many of these thought viruses have become the conventional wisdom of education. However, decisions based on these thought viruses are often ineffective or even detrimental to learning.

Think Mosquito!

This article discusses teachers' feelings of powerlessness. Includes ways to stop giving away your power, a survey that demonstrates how completely the influence of teachers is ignored on some fronts, and suggestions for reclaiming your power by "thinking mosquito!"

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New!

The Teaching in Mind website has been refocused on how the unconscious beliefs and values of teachers influence the education of our children. Since the 2nd edition of Teaching in Mind: How Teacher Thinking Shapes Education was published in 2010, the lives of teachers and students have undergone major changes. To this end, our goal is to publish an updated edition of Teaching in Mind by the end of 2017. Meanwhile, the key ideas about the effects of teacher beliefs can still be found here. New articles on the topic will be added as they are completed.


Other Articles

Articles about learning and assessment, historic foundations of education, current issues in education, and transforming education that previously appeared on this site can now be found at our sister site, Learning in Mind.

Email Updates

Want to be notified when the latest articles and/or information is added?

Sign up for Email Updates