Steven Stemler, assistant professor of psychology, has published a new study showing key differences between federal educational initiative goals and high school mission statements.
Americans have been bombarded over the past three decades with the news that our K-12 students are academically falling behind their peers dozens of countries. The U.S. government has responded by implementing a series of standardized tests and creating such programs as “Race to the Top” and “No Child Left Behind” to measure and improve our children’s success. The outcomes of these initiatives are often used to determine teacher effectiveness, as well.
“These programs are based on an assumption that has rarely been questioned by researchers and policy makers–the assumption that there is a consensus about the fundamental purpose of schooling in American society,” says Steven Stemler, assistant professor of psychology.
“But how can you presume common standards for ‘success’ when we are all pretty sure the definitions of success for urban schools, suburban schools and rural schools don’t even match up in the same state, never mind nationwide?”
However, “pretty sure” is the operative phrase here. Though virtually everyone who studies educational performance will readily agree that schools vary in the way they approach “success” and “excellence” no one could really identify definitively
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Steve Stemler, assistant professor of psychology, says that acquiring Practical Intelligence is vital for new teachers because roughly 50 percent of new teachers are out of the profession within their first five years of entering it.
Sure, first-year teachers need to be masters of their subject material and their classrooms, but to be truly effective in that first year and beyond teachers also have learn one vital skill: avoiding “bad” decisions.
“Novice teachers, in particular, don’t necessarily need to make good decisions right away, but what they must develop is the tacit knowledge to identify what a bad decision or bad response may be. That may sound easy in theory, but when you consider all of the challenges that come from outside the classroom such as administrative duties, dealing with colleagues and dealing with parents, it becomes much more difficult,” says Steven Stemler, assistant professor of psychology.
Stemler is the co-author of a new study titled “The socially skilled teacher and the development of tacit knowledge,” which has been published by the British Educational Research Journal. The study spent a year looking the levels of effectiveness experienced by more than 500 teachers in England. The researchers found that the most successful teachers were those who developed the “tacit knowledge”
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Steve Stemler, assistant professor of psychology, is the co-author of “The socially skilled teacher and the development of tacit knowledge,” published in the British Educational Research Journal, Feb. 24, 2010
Steven Stemler, assistant professor of psychology.
Failure to adapt in certain military maneuvers or assignments can lead to fatal errors. To help prevent grievous mistakes, the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense has asked psychologists to study adaptability. Assistant Professor of Psychology Steven Stemler was awarded a $60,000 subcontract via the University of Central Florida to study the concept and develop tools to measure adaptability.
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