American RadioWorks |
teaching-teachers

Teaching Teachers

Research shows good teaching makes a big difference in how much kids learn. But the United States lacks an effective system for training new teachers or helping them get better once they're on the job. This documentary examines why, and asks what it would take to improve American teaching on a wide scale. We meet researchers who are trying to understand what makes teaching complex, and how to determine whether someone is ready to be a teacher. We also visit U.S. schools that are taking a page from Japan and radically rethinking the way they approach the idea of teacher improvement.

Recent Posts

  • 08.27.15

    An American way of teaching

    In 1993, a group of researchers set out to do something that had never been done before. They would hire a videographer to travel across the United States and record a random sample of eighth-grade math classes. What they found revealed a lot about American teaching.
  • 08.27.15

    Rethinking teacher preparation

    In the United States, teaching isn't treated as a profession that requires extensive training like law or medicine. Teaching is seen as something you can figure out on your own, if you have a natural gift for it. But looking for gifted people won't work to fill the nation's classrooms with teachers who know what they're doing.
  • 08.27.15

    A different approach to teacher learning: Lesson study

    In the United States, we tend to think that improving education is about improving teachers - recruiting better ones, firing bad ones. But the Japanese think about improving teaching. It's a very different idea.
  • 08.27.15

    Thinking about math from someone else’s perspective

    "What you do when you’re teaching is you think about other people’s thinking. You don’t think about your own thinking; you think what other people think. That’s really hard." -Deborah Ball


in collaboration with Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity

Fund health care for everyone via a uniform tax

File under: health care, insurance, medical problems, funding, taxes

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From: Bea A., Tonasket, WA

Along with the latest depressing figures on poverty in the United States, this week we learned that 50.7 million Americans now lack health insurance. While poverty has many root causes, there's an obvious link between these two phenomena: the level of poverty and the lack of health insurance.

Many Americans can relate sad stories of medical expenses driving them into poverty. Colossal amounts of money are spent on health care in this country, while everyone agrees that the system has evolved into a confused, mind-boggling mess. Insurance (every type of insurance) is a system of shared risk, in which everyone puts money into a pool -- those who are likely to have a claim, as well as those who are less likely. Claims are then paid out of the pool.

The Obama Administration has tried hard to find a creative solution to the problem of the uninsured, but unfortunately, the latest health care bill is probably not going to be very successful. There's already a concerted opposition to the requirement to buy insurance. There were political reasons, of course, why it worked out this way; but it's easy to foresee the problems the mandate will run into.

It would go a long way towards mitigating poverty in this country if everyone was able to obtain necessary health care. And the only way to accomplish this is to create a pool of premiums. Instead of the requirement to buy insurance, the only practical solution would be, to fund health care via a uniform tax, similar to the Medicare tax.


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American RadioWorks |
teaching-teachers

Teaching Teachers

Research shows good teaching makes a big difference in how much kids learn. But the United States lacks an effective system for training new teachers or helping them get better once they're on the job. This documentary examines why, and asks what it would take to improve American teaching on a wide scale. We meet researchers who are trying to understand what makes teaching complex, and how to determine whether someone is ready to be a teacher. We also visit U.S. schools that are taking a page from Japan and radically rethinking the way they approach the idea of teacher improvement.

Recent Posts

  • 08.27.15

    An American way of teaching

    In 1993, a group of researchers set out to do something that had never been done before. They would hire a videographer to travel across the United States and record a random sample of eighth-grade math classes. What they found revealed a lot about American teaching.
  • 08.27.15

    Rethinking teacher preparation

    In the United States, teaching isn't treated as a profession that requires extensive training like law or medicine. Teaching is seen as something you can figure out on your own, if you have a natural gift for it. But looking for gifted people won't work to fill the nation's classrooms with teachers who know what they're doing.
  • 08.27.15

    A different approach to teacher learning: Lesson study

    In the United States, we tend to think that improving education is about improving teachers - recruiting better ones, firing bad ones. But the Japanese think about improving teaching. It's a very different idea.
  • 08.27.15

    Thinking about math from someone else’s perspective

    "What you do when you’re teaching is you think about other people’s thinking. You don’t think about your own thinking; you think what other people think. That’s really hard." -Deborah Ball