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TC's Chris Emdin on “The Myth of the Hero Teacher”

 

In an interview in The New York Times, TC's Chris Emdin responds to the story of Ed Boland, an executive at Prep for Prep, a nonprofit organization that places minority children in elite private schools, who quit to teach at a low-performing public school on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Boland had seen movies "in which heroic teachers reach into the lives of at-risk adolescents and make a difference," writes John Leland of the Times. "Mr. Boland believed he could be one of them," but soon quit teaching and returned to Prep for Prep. Boland wrote a book about his experience, “The Battle for Room 314: My Year of Hope and Despair in a New York City High School.

Emdin, the author of his own forthcoming book, “For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood … and the Rest of Y’all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education,” says "Boland’s book wrongly blames students for what is really a failure to train teachers, especially those working with students from backgrounds that are different from their own," Leland writes, quoting Emdin:

"Teaching minority students, especially from poor backgrounds, requires 'a particular skill set that you can develop,' Dr. Emdin said, emphasizing that those skills take time to emerge. 'But I would not have my internist performing heart surgery. And I would not have Ed Boland teach in an urban school. He’s not trained for it.' ”

To read the New York Times story by John Leland, click here.

Published Tuesday, Mar 1, 2016

Christopher Emdin
Christopher Emdin, Associate Professor of Science Education

 

In an interview in The New York Times, TC's Chris Emdin responds to the story of Ed Boland, an executive at Prep for Prep, a nonprofit organization that places minority children in elite private schools, who quit to teach at a low-performing public school on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Boland had seen movies "in which heroic teachers reach into the lives of at-risk adolescents and make a difference," writes John Leland of the Times. "Mr. Boland believed he could be one of them," but soon quit teaching and returned to Prep for Prep. Boland wrote a book about his experience, “The Battle for Room 314: My Year of Hope and Despair in a New York City High School.

Emdin, the author of his own forthcoming book, “For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood … and the Rest of Y’all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education,” says "Boland’s book wrongly blames students for what is really a failure to train teachers, especially those working with students from backgrounds that are different from their own," Leland writes, quoting Emdin:

"Teaching minority students, especially from poor backgrounds, requires 'a particular skill set that you can develop,' Dr. Emdin said, emphasizing that those skills take time to emerge. 'But I would not have my internist performing heart surgery. And I would not have Ed Boland teach in an urban school. He’s not trained for it.' ”

To read the New York Times story by John Leland, click here.

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