Essays in Education


Teacher persistence helps foster effective teaching. Specifically, teacher persistence may promote high expectations for students, the development of teaching skills, teachers’ reflectiveness, responsiveness to diversity, teaching efficacy, effective responses to setbacks, and successful use of reformed teaching methods. Common evaluation practices in teacher education may undermine teacher persistence. Teacher educators might support the development of teacher persistence by emphasizing the knowledge that makes persistence a rational response to setbacks, by teaching self-regulation skills that support persistence, and by using evaluation practices that require greater effort and persistence of students. The importance of fostering thoughtful teacher persistence is discussed, along with the ways in which teacher education may foster either mindless or thoughtful persistence. Conditions in which greater teacher persistence may be especially beneficial include teaching young children, or teaching children who learn more slowly, who have challenging behaviors, or who have specific disabilities. It is especially important for teacher educators to foster greater persistence among young new teachers who will teach in urban settings. Introduction

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