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Hugging the Middle—How Teachers Teach in an Era of Testing and Accountability

Larry Cuban

112 pages
Teachers College Press
Larry Cuban’s How Teachers Taught has been widely acclaimed as a pathbreaking text on the history and evolution of classroom teaching. Now Cuban brings his great experience as a classroom teacher, superintendent, and researcher to this highly anticipated follow-up. Focusing on three diverse school districts (Arlington, Virginia; Denver, Colorado; Oakland, California), Hugging the Middle offers an incisive portrayal of how teachers teach now. It is a revealing look at a range of current, workable pedagogical options educators are using to engage students while satisfying parents and policymakers—options that succeed by creating hybrid practices that combine both teacher-centered approaches (e.g., mostly direct instruction, textbooks, lectures) with student-centered ones (e.g., team projects on real-world problems, independent learning, small-group work). A state-of-the-profession assessment in this era of top-down educational policy, Hugging the Middle: Brings Larry Cuban’s years of experience and keen historian’s eye to an analysis of teaching today. Looks at teachers’ continuing adaptations to standards-based education reform and the No Child Left Behind Act. Compares classroom practices in a cross section of U.S. urban schools. Gauges the impact of technology (or lack thereof) in the contemporary classroom. Praise for Larry Cuban's classic How Teachers Taught: " How Teachers Taught is one of the most important books on educational history in years and one that has considerable implications for improving the practice of teaching." —Michael W. Sedlak, Book Review, The Elementary School Journal, Vol. 86, No. 2 (Nov., 1985)
Author Bio
Larry Cuban is Professor Emeritus of Education at Stanford University. In addition to How Teachers Taught, his books include Teachers and Machines, Frogs into Princes: Writings on School Reform, Why Is It So Hard to Get Good Schools? and How Can I Fix It? Finding Solutions and Managing Dilemmas.