Required Reading: Breakthrough and the “Quarterback Problem”

Malcolm Gladwell: Most Likely to Succeed (The New Yorker)

I promise more on this soon, but for now, just read it.

The New Yorker has an essay by Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point and Blink), in which he explicitly argues that teachers need to be seen in the classroom under teaching conditions before anyone can tell if they’re good or not:

It stands to reason that to be a great teacher you have to have withitness. But how do you know whether someone has withitness until she stands up in front of a classroom of twenty-five wiggly Janes, Lucys, Johns, and Roberts and tries to impose order?

As this approach to teacher quality enters the mainstream, where does Breakthrough stand?

There’s a lot to agree with here, and some to quibble with, but I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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2 Responses to Required Reading: Breakthrough and the “Quarterback Problem”

  1. […] programs in NYC.  This is the sort of research that is starting to give us some answers to “the Quarterback Problem,” and that will help put better teachers in the schools that need them. In addition, […]

  2. […] looking through these two sites, take a second to refer back to our post on the Malcolm Gladwell New Yorker article, “The Quarterback Problem.” Teacher quality seems to be at the nexus of all education debates right now. How do you think […]

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