Is it the Student or the Teacher?

In the Indianapolis Star there is an ongoing debate that basically stands on this premise: if the students do not perform, it is the teacher’s fault. Isn’t the teacher responsible for teaching content and managing the class? Certainly the answer is yes BUT there can be extenuating circumstances. The teachers in this research study have 5-6 Type 3 students in every class and we have seen that these students, and their impact on the Type 2s (the followers) can be very disruptive to the learning environment.   In addition, there was a very weak support system in this school to help manage the unruly students. This means that what goes on in class will continue day after day with little to no improvement.

What about the parents?  Our teachers become very frustrated when the parents of Type 3 children are discussed. In their school, the parents are the last line of defense but there is no line. The parents seldom get involved and at times can be hostile to the teachers.    The consequences – all of the students suffer because of the behavior of the Type 3s. This means that the teacher is going to lose valuable teaching time and there is a serious lack of a learning environment and the students lose. It is unfair to hold the teacher totally responsible under these circumstances. So, we find ourselves in a situation where a good teacher may not produce good results.

In a class where the Type 3s have been removed, or the support system has moderated their behavior, there is still no guarantee that learning will accelerate but it should. At least now the teachers have a reasonable chance of being able to teach. In the Case Studies portion of this site we hope to be able to look at case studies of some of the Hit Parade of Schools. This should provide insight into how to reach more students.