Book Review

Preparing Teachers for a Changing World

What Teachers Should Learn and Be Able to Do

edited by Linda Darling-Hammond and John Bransford, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, Calif., 2005, 593 pp. with index, $28 softcover

If you have had the experience of new teachers who lacked basic instructional tools or veteran teachers who had lost their way, then Linda Darling-Hammond and John Bransford may have created just the book for you.

Preparing Teachers for a Changing World

As a former director of staff development, I would have found their book Preparing Teachers for a Changing World: What Teachers Should Learn and Be Able to Do helpful in facilitating conversations among learning communities about what was working, what needed examination and what needed to be purged. Many readers will see this work as remediating what should have been done in pre-service education or in colleges of education. The richness of the content and its relevant nature stand out.

Darling-Hammond and Bransford’s work encapsulates the major pedagogical and curricular themes that confront teachers every day. They offer specific, research-based approaches to addressing an ever-diversifying, often elusive student population. They address curriculum articulation and evaluation, developmentally appropriate instruction, student and teacher learning, classroom management, as well as organizational and policy change.

Sponsored by the National Academy of Education, this book would be an excellent resource for teacher preparation institutions as it is rich with research and application. And for districts that work closely with higher education, I’d suggest it be a part of the district’s professional development library. It would be less useful to superintendents in their day-to-day work.

Reviewed by Zach Kelehear, associate professor, University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C.