Teachers who acquire elaborate core practices intuitively make the best decisions in the classroom. They rely on expertise that enables them not only to master the daily and often complex challenges of the profession, but to teach in ways that help students make the best possible progress. They recognize core practices as the key components of adaptive and successful teaching, in such areas as supporting students, diagnosing difficulties, providing feedback, guiding conversations, explaining, and more. Core Practices of Successful Teachers: Supporting Learning and Managing Instruction explores core practices that enable educators to teach in the best possible way for the benefit of students. Via a variety of suggestions and activities, this book shows pre-service and in-service teachers how to not only learn about and understand numerous core practices, but also how to engage with, develop, reflect on, and improve them.
Urban Fraefel is professor at the School of Education Northwestern Switzerland as well as an author. His teaching, research, and development activities focus on teaching and learning, core practices, practice-based teacher education, and university-school partnerships.
Part I: Read This First
Chapter 1. What You Should Know Before Working with This Book
Chapter 2. How to Work Successfully with This Book
Part II: Supporting Individual Learning
Chapter 3. Supporting Individual Learning: What it is All About
Chapter 4. Diagnostics: How Do I Find Out Where the Students Stand?
Chapter 5. Professional Feedback to Learners: Crucial for Any Support
Chapter 6. How to Make Feedback and One-on-One Conversations More Effective
Part III: Managing Instruction
Chapter 7. Introduction
Chapter 8. The Transparent Opening of a Lesson
Chapter 9. Providing an Input
Chapter 10. Guiding Discussions
Chapter 11. Guidelines for Learning Activities
Chapter 12. Summing Up and Closing
Chapter 13. Some Variations of the Basic Lesson Structure
Part IV: Where Do We Stand Now?
Chapter 14. A Closer Look at the Concept of (Core) Practices
Chapter 15. Epilogue: My Own Practices
About the Author
Core Practices of Successful Teachers: Supporting Learning and Managing Instruction is aimed at supporting teachers in developing a strong foundation of core practices which is eminently valuable. Urban Fraefel’s deep understanding of both the importance of professional judgment and the need for practical support in learning to teach is reflected in the design of this book. He provides a map for the journey to help teachers not just develop an understanding of core practices but the ability to engage and reflect on their own practice.
This well-researched book features adaptive practices, which are key to responsive instruction. Educators need to have structure to guide their interactions with students, but they also need to improvise based on students’ interests and states of understanding—this is what makes the learning environment flexible and attuned to the needs of students. The chapters in Core Practices of Successful Teachers support professional learning in these areas of adaptive expertise and also help teachers foster reflection and agency in students as they navigate complex content together.
In Core Practices of Successful Teachers: Supporting Learning and Managing Instruction, Urban Fraefel addresses prospective and in-service teachers. As a workbook with numerous tasks and suggestions for processing, it can be used in a problem-oriented way—alone or together with colleagues—to rethink, refine, and develop one’s own practices.