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American Educator
Fall 1986


Table of Contents

Our Profession, Our Schools: The Case for Fundamental Reform
By Albert Shanker

The AFT vision of transforming teaching into a full profession, unimaginable just a few short years ago, is now at center stage of the national discussion about the direction of education reform. We have before us the possibility of creating a self-governing profession and of redesigning our schools so that teaching and learning can flourish.

Teaching Knowledge: How Do We Test It?
Not with Simplistic, Multiple-Choice, Context-Free Exams
By Linda Darling-Hammond

An analysis of the typical questions used in tests that are supposed to assess a teacher's professional knowledge reveals that less that 10 percent of the questions require a command of theory, research, or facts pertaining to teaching. What, then, do they measure?

Docemur Docendo (He Who Teaches, Learns)
By Marsha Levine

When one student tutors another, they both gain. The author describes how the ancient instructional technique of peer tutoring is being applied to computer education, hands-on science lessons, and basic skills instruction.

Teachers at the Center
Pittsburgh's Eight-Week In-Service Program Has Teachers Working and Learning Together
By Sheryl Hovey

In-service education doesn't have to mean just a three-hour workshop on a Saturday morning. Pittsburgh's unique, new staff development program brings teachers together for eight full weeks of study and collegial interaction.

Certified Partners
Four Good Reasons for Certification of Paraprofessionals
By Anna Lou Pickett

As the education community begins to rethink how schools are structured and staffed, the time is ripe to push ahead with carefully constructed certification programs for paraprofessionals.

Uncapping the Retirement Age
No Exemption of Tenured Faculty
By Lawrence M. Friedman

Some states have totally uncapped the mandatory retirement age, making it illegal to dismiss a person solely on account of age. But, in a few of those states, tenured college faculty have been excluded from the law's protections. The arguments advanced for excluding them, says the author, are weak—morally and socially.

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About American Educator

American Educator is a quarterly journal of educational research and ideas published by the American Federation of Teachers. Recent articles have focused on such topics as reducing the achievement gap between poor and affluent students, heading off student discipline problems, teaching an appreciation and understanding of democracy, the benefits of a common coherent curriculum, and other issues affecting children and education here and abroad. Total circulation, as of our most recent issue, is over 900,000.

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