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Fisher, Douglas, and Nancy Frey. Better Learning Through Structured Teaching: A Framework for the Gradual Release of Responsibility (2nd ed).

Fisher, Douglas, and Nancy Frey. Better Learning Through Structured Teaching: A Framework for the Gradual Release of Responsibility (2nd ed). ASCD 2014. 158p. $24.95 Trade pb. 978-14166-1629-0.

Fisher and Frey are champions of traditional top down teaching methods often known as direct teaching but which they term the gradual release model. They view the teacher as in command of what and how content or skills are being taught. And what they mean by gradual release is to have the student take more and more responsibility to do exactly what has been asked of them. Thus, we produce students doing exactly what they are told to do. This is, of course, a part of real life. In many of the jobs out there, workers are given directions by their superiors and are expected to carry them out precisely and we all rely on such workers who prepare our hamburgers, make cars that work and last a long time, and construct a home that doesn't leak. Such teaching and the resultant testing is the life blood of what goes on in many classrooms as students are given assignments and strict rubrics and follow-up assessments to ensure that mastery happens. However, such a robot workforce won't keep a first world nation first world. There have to be critical thinkers, problem solvers, creators, inventors, and those who can see new ways of working and doing. Fisher and Frey have no room for such learners or for the kinds of technology that helps learners become creators. So, do you need to read this book? If you want a source that defends directed teaching, then this is one choice. Otherwise, as teacher librarians, we can cooperate with teachers who see the world in such terms, but we can also develop the learning commons in such a way that the opportunities for bored learners abound in our physical and virtual spaces. If you are doing the later, skip this book.

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Title Annotation:Resources for the Teacher Librarian
Author:Loertscher, David V.
Publication:Teacher Librarian
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jun 1, 2014
Words:324
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