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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
Not a bad book, not a great one either but has had major consequences on teaching. What has been offered as suggestions for good teachers has become an absolute has to in my district. This has become the basis for teacher evaluations for most of the state of Florida. Marzano states that learning goals help students to see what they are learning. Perhaps. So this has now become a has to and a mark of incompetency if a learning goal is not on a classroom teacher's chalkboard. Same for his scales. Not posted on your board? Incompetent teacher. Marzano is now creating the learning goals and scales and selling them to school districts. Quite the deal. While some of his suggestions for best practices are good, they are rapidly becoming the ONLY way to teach and the ONLY way in which a teacher will be evaluated. The whole state of Florida is spending thousands of man hours on creating properly worded learning goals and scales. He'll be selling them soon. We also spend most of our professional development time on how to teach his way. And each time it gears up a little bit more with more paperwork to follow. I'm now spending hours proving that I am teaching "the Marzano way" instead of planning better lessons or even just grading student work.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
It is dry material but it is currently used as a checklist to evaluate teachers. So it isn't going to be exciting beach reading nor is it necessarily designed to inspire the passion to teach. From what I hear, a school district could do far worse for a teacher evaluation instrument and many are doing worse. I'm sure a lot of painstaking effort went into the book and it is probably very valuable as a text in college classes. It attempts to include every single component that is fundamental to effective teaching. I completed the educational games component for my formal evaluation and my students were very enthusiastic. It gives you a framework. I tweaked my lesson and found a game that taught the specific skill. So his framework provides for rather than precludes creativity. You bring the creativity. The problem is there is a climate in our state of distrust. The State Dept. of Education is favoring charter schools while it demands increasingly burdensome measures of accountability and demands for individualized instruction from public school teachers. There have been numerous unfunded mandates coming down. So when Marzano's or any evaluation method is supported by the DOE, teachers are suspicious. There is quite a bit of common sense in the book, and this has been criticized by teachers, but sometimes it is good to have the back-up- especially if you have been teaching for a while and DOE demands have often not been about common sense, but rather politicians trying to please voters. (Blame the teachers for anything and everything). This increasingly negative climate isn't Marzano's fault and so far, I don't see anything adverse about the new evaluations based upon his methods. But although my initial reaction was negative, i.e., we are sent this as a "love letter" from the DOE, I think their war on public education may backfire. I don't think Marzano wrote this book with the DOE's political agenda in mind. He really just supports good teaching. If you follow the book, you have a good path through the political noise. However, much depends on how it is applied. Public school teachers are currently enduring a negative punitive environment. The author's intentions could be twisted to serve a political purpose. Hopefully, that won't happen!
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39 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
The Art and Science of Teaching: A comprehensive framework for effective instruction

The book focuses on the elements of effective teaching. The author presents a comprehensive model of effective instruction in the form of 10 questions. These questions are: (1) What will I do to establish and communicate learning goals, track student progress and celebrate success? (2) What will I do to help students effectively interact with new knowledge? (3) What will I do to help students practice and deepen their understanding of new knowledge? (4) What will I do to help students generate and test hypotheses about new knowledge? (5) What will I do to engage students? (6) What will I do to establish or maintain classroom rules or procedures? (7) What will I do to recognize and acknowledge adherence to classroom rules and procedures? (8) What will I do to establish and maintain effective relationships with students? (9) What will I do to communicate high expectations for all students? (10) What will I do to develop effective lessons organized into cohesive unit? The above questions represent a logical planning sequence for effective instructional design and they have been discussed in the ten chapters of the book.
The book has figures, diagrams, tables, rubrics, and graphic organizers. The book is easy to read and reflects current research and thinking on different aspects of classroom teaching such as teacher expectations, questioning, lesson design, and reflection.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I love theory books. I'm a sociology and psychology nerd. And I love teaching. So I went into this read with a good attitude, even though my school system has adopted it as the Next Best Thing, which automatically makes it suspect.

It's drivel. Pure, unadulterated pap. Something for the theorists in the county office to wank over when they have no idea how to teach because they haven't taught kids in years--if ever.

There may be a point in here that's useful, but if so it's buried beneath a mountain of unintelligible jargon and high-falutin' theorist-speak that it's difficult to find. There are NO useful examples. Not a one. Just page after page of theory.

Meanwhile, a whole industry has grown up around this book: "READ THIS! IT'LL SOLVE ALL OUR PROBLEMS. THIS IS WHAT IS WRONG WITH OUR SCHOOLS!" And the school systems--nation wide!--have gleefully bought in. Scratch that. The folks in the county offices and those on the school boards have bought in. The people who actually know what they're doing and what's wrong with the schools and how to fix it are never asked. THEY know this book is useless to them. But they're forced to read it or else they don't know the latest jargon, the corporate anguage which is essential to getting along in any big business these days--which school has become.

Sheesh...don't get me started...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book is being used as the basis for restructuring at the school district where I just completed my student teaching. Even though I won't likely be working in that particular district I very much liked what I was hearing, and for sure the book is jam-packed with great ideas -- so I bought it for my own personal use. Most of it is, truly, common sense, but it is good to have it in this book because it is written out and well organized. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to be even more excellent in their teaching.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book has very good strategies for both new and seasoned educators. New teachers will appreciate the immediacy by which the strategies can be implemented in the classroom. Seasoned teachers will appreciate the reminders of strategies that may have been used over the years.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Assumes there are no special needs kids or major behavioural issues in the class. Like the success criteria ideas but better for older kids as scoring is harder for under 8s. An important read though as this stuff is taking off in most education systems around the world. Doesn't address content or knowledge, more about pedagogy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2014
Format: Paperback
My rating is actually 3+1/2 stars.

While the rest of the world was at the beach, I spent my Sunday reading our staff copy of Dr. Marzano’s opus, which is used for teachers’ evaluations in my own District as well as many thousands of other districts around the country.

Information is concrete and we are assured (and shown), based on research. Much is what we learned in teaching courses, explicit goal setting, feedback, rubrics and so forth. He makes the excellent point that the skilled teacher checks for student understanding as the lesson progresses, not afterwards, but this is something that a discerning teacher learns almost immediately. In fact, it is a question asked of prospective teachers, couched as, “What would you do if your entire class failed a test?”. (The answer of course, is that a skilled teacher would have known beforehand that the students were unprepared.)

There is nothing about course content in the book, Marzano is addressing teaching and learning. He poses 10 questions (questions have been shown to encourage the reader/listener to think critically, etc. etc.) all of which pertain to substantive pillars of effective teaching, and certainly bear repeating. While the extensive referencing is de rigueur in research tomes, I found them to be distracting.

The entire chapter on the need to engage students was missing from our book, (and this is a well used book from our staff library which made me wonder about the degree of attention being paid by previous readers.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I have had this loaded to my Kindle for two years now and finally I forced myself to read through it this summer. I say "my" Kindle but actually the school district issued it to me as a new teacher with Marzano's book pre-loaded. In our district, teachers' performance evaluations are structured on Marzano's framework. Too bad I did not read this earlier, because when I finally did get into it I realized that I am already doing many of the actions that Marzano suggests. Now, having read it, I feel I will be able to go into my next performance evaluation with the right discussion points to support a stronger evaluation. The single word that should sum up this book is "Framework". Once I recognized the pattern of the writing I got some momentum going and moved through it at a decent pace, but I had to take frequent breaks because it is just not wonderfully exciting. Also, I finished sooner than I expected because the last 15% of the text (according to the Kindle measurement) turned out to be references. Towards the end there is a two-page summary outline of the overall framework. I would like to get a print copy of the outline to keep at my desk for daily review. So, in summary, my advice is to read it if you must, the sooner the better, and stick with it because in the end you will be glad you did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Marzano, well known for his Classroom Strategies and "That Works" series brings many of those ideas together in a simplified text organized around key questions all teachers must address. Marzano continues to provide excellent Action Steps for any educator to take at any level. if you are a Marzano fan, you will still love this book and gain from it. If you are new to Marzano, this is the text I would start with before digging into his Classroom Strategies series.
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