Skip to main content

Because Teaching Matters: An Introduction to the Profession, 2nd Edition



Because Teaching Matters: An Introduction to the Profession, 2nd Edition

Marleen C. Pugach

ISBN: 978-0-470-47254-5 February 2009 528 Pages

E-Book Rental (120 Days)
E-Book Rental (150 Days)
Download Product Flyer

Download Product Flyer

Download Product Flyer is to download PDF in new tab. This is a dummy description. Download Product Flyer is to download PDF in new tab. This is a dummy description. Download Product Flyer is to download PDF in new tab. This is a dummy description. Download Product Flyer is to download PDF in new tab. This is a dummy description.


Real challenges. Real choices. And very real consequences. That's what today's classrooms are about.

That's why Marleen Pugach's Because Teaching Matter: An Introduction to the Profession 2e is all about depicting today’s classrooms as they truly are, while at the same time highlighting the enormous impact teachers have on students’ lives.

Organized around five professional commitments – from learning from multiple sources of knowledge, using the curriculum responsibly, and embracing diversity, to meeting the needs of individual students and contributing actively to the profession – Because Teaching Matter: An Introduction to the Profession 2e tells the true story of today’s complex classrooms. But there’s more. It also drives home that though the decision to teach is a serious one, it is one that can be extremely rewarding.

Current research; practical discussions; and realistic cases capture the breadth and depth of the modern teaching experience, while a warm, engaging writing style make the text a pleasure to read.

Ideal for Foundations of Education and Introduction to Teaching courses designed to provide preservice teachers with an overview of the profession.  

Related Resources

CHAPTER 1 Teaching: A Career That Makes a Difference 1

Five Professional Commitments to Guide the Choices You Make 2

Commitment 1: Learning from Multiple Sources of Knowledge throughout Your Career 3

Commitment 2: Using the Curriculum Responsibly 5

Commitment 3: Crossing Your Own Familiar Borders to Embrace Diversity 6

Commitment 4: Meeting the Needs of Individual Students in the Context of the Classroom and the School 7

Commitment 5: Contributing Actively to the Profession 7

The Role of Reflection and Action in the Choices You Make 8

The Rewards and Demands of Making a Commitment to Teaching 8

The Rewards of Teaching 9

A Case In Point: Influencing the Lives of Students—A Teacher’s Gift 10

The Demands of Teaching 11

Meeting Standards for Good Beginning Teachers 12

Teaching: Is It Really for You? 14

Making a Choice about the Kind of Teacher You Want to Be 15


CHAPTER 2 Putting What You Already Know about Teaching into Perspective 19

Five Kinds of Experience That Create Prior Knowledge about Teaching 20

Knowledge about Teaching from Your Own Experience of Schooling 20

Autobiographical Knowledge about Teaching 23

Rewards and Challenges: Getting Started 25

A Case In Point: Natalie’s Story 26

Knowledge about Teaching from Working in Schools 27

A Case In Point: From Paraprofessional to Teacher 29

Knowledge about Teaching from Images in the Media 30

Historical Note: Catharine Beecher’s Image of Teachers 32

Digging Deeper: Is Teaching a Science or an Art? 35

Knowledge from Your Own Beliefs about Teaching 36

Philosophical Note: The Role of a Philosophy of Teaching 38

Observation and Interviewing: “Making the Familiar Strange” 39

Making the Familiar Strange through Formal Classroom Observation 40

Making the Familiar Strange through Interviewing 45

Final Pointers on Observation and Interviewing 48

Why It Counts in a Diverse World 48

CHAPTER 3 Learning to Teach:What Does It Mean? 57

The Research Is In: Good Teaching Matters 58

Who Governs Teacher Education and Certification? 60

What Do Prospective Teachers Study? 62

Subject Matter Content 62

Foundations of Education 63

Pedagogy 64

Field Experience in PK–12 Classrooms 65

Connecting the Elements of Teacher Education 66

Reforming the Preparation of Teachers: A National Commitment 67

Historical Note: Normal Schools and the Early History of Teacher Education 67

From Coursework to Standards: Increasing Rigor in Teacher Education 70

The Purpose of Standards in Teacher Education 71

The Role of Portfolios in Standards-Based Teacher Education 71

A Case In Point: How Portfolios Demonstrate What Teachers Know and Can Do 73

Good Teacher Education: A Shared Responsibility between Schools and Universities 74

A Case In Point: Working in a Professional Development School 76

The New Role of Testing in Preparing Beginning Teachers—Help or Hindrance? 76

Philosophical Note: An Essentialist View of Teaching and Teacher Education 78

Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs 79

National Accreditation 79

Accreditation and Standards: The Road to Greater Professionalization? 80

Digging Deeper: Do Standards and Accreditation Really Ensure Good Beginning Teachers? 80

Preparing Enough Teachers: Responding to Teacher Shortages 82

Shortages—A Cyclical Event in Teaching 82

Alternate Routes: A Solution to the Shortage? 82

Rewards and Challenges: From Teacher Education to the Classroom 85

After Formal Teacher Education: What Comes Next? 85

Induction—The First Stage of Your Career 86

A Case In Point: Mentoring a First-Year Teacher in an Urban School 87

Renewing Your Teaching License 89

Why It Counts in a Diverse World 90

CHAPTER 4 Learning from the History and Philosophy of Education 97

Historical Origins of American Education 98

Early Educational Efforts in the Colonies 99

Expanding Education, Literacy, and Civil Society 100

The Jeffersonian Ideal of Education 101

The Contested Problem of the Control of Public Education 102

Common Schools 103

The Late 19th Century: Building a System of Education 105

Digging Deeper: A Colonial Conflict in a Modern Setting: What High School Curriculum is best? 105

The Limited Reach of Universal Education 108

A Case In Point: What Can a History of Educational Inequity Mean for Today’s Students 110

Into the 20th Century 112

The Historical Record and the Current Era: Enduring Dilemmas and Persistent Controversies 113

Philosophical Views of Education 114

Rewards and Challenges: A New Teacher’s Philosophy 115

The Map of Western Philosophical Concepts and Schools of Thought 115

Major Philosophies of Education 117

Philosophy and Purpose Revisited 120

Why It Counts in a Diverse World 121


CHAPTER 5 Deciding What to Teach 129

Curriculum: A Multidimensional Concept 131

The Explicit Curriculum—What It Is and Is Not 131

Curriculum as What Is Taught 132

Curriculum as What Is Learned 133

What Isn’t Taught—the Null Curriculum 135

Curriculum Dilemmas 136

Developing the Curriculum: How Does It Work? 136

How Are Academic Content Standards Created? 137

What Do Academic Content Standards Look Like? 137

What Do Curriculum Guides Look Like? 138

A Case In Point: Developing a Teaching Unit 141

National Influences on Curriculum Development 143

Historical Note: The Influence of National Committees on Schooling and the Curriculum 144

Curriculum—Teaching with a Purpose 145

Philosophical Note: John Dewey and the Progressive View of Education 146

Beyond a Technical Approach—Special Curriculum Identities for Individual Schools 147

Digging Deeper: The Role of Basic Skills in the Curriculum 150

Making Sense of Standards, Accountability, and the Purposes of Curriculum 152

Rewards and Challenges: Making the Curriculum Meaningful 153

The Role of Textbooks in the Curriculum 155

How Teachers Use Textbooks 155

Textbooks, Standards, and the Curriculum 158

The Textbook Industry in the United States 158

Why It Counts in a Diverse World 161

CHAPTER 6 More Than “What Is Taught”: School as a Social Institution 167

The Power of the Hidden Curriculum 169

The Hidden Curriculum and the School as a Culture 170

Benefits of the Hidden Curriculum 172

Liabilities of the Hidden Curriculum 173

A Case In Point: Current Events as the Hidden Curriculum 175

The Hidden Curriculum as a Commentary on the Social Purposes of Schooling 176

The Current Societal Context 176

Historical Note: The Emergence of the Common School 177

Population and the Schools 179

Changing Family Structures 179

Child Abuse and Neglect 185

Violence and the Schools 187

Digging Deeper: Will Smaller High Schools Meet Students’ Needs? 189

Teen Pregnancy 191

Drug and Alcohol Abuse 192

Addressing Social Dynamics by Changing the Regularities of Schooling 193

Redefining the Environment 193

Rewards and Challenges: Making School Work for Every Student 195

A Case In Point: The Salomé Ureña de Henriquez Campus, New York City 197

The Teacher’s Role in Promoting Competence 198

Philosophical Note: Meeting Individual Needs through a Humanistic Philosophy of Education 198

A Brief Word about the Extracurriculum 199

Why It Counts in a Diverse World 200


CHAPTER 7 Teaching Students Whose Race, Class, Culture, or Language Differs from Your Own 209

What Changing Demographics in the United States Mean for Teachers 211

Understanding Diversity as an Asset, Not a Deficit 213

A Case In Point: Deficit or Asset? 214

How Knowing about Your Students’ Lives Helps You Teach 216

Using Funds of Knowledge as a Resource for Student Learning 218

Devaluing Students in School: How Does It Happen? 219

What Teachers Communicate through Their Expectations 219

Historical Note: The Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court Decision 221

What Schools Communicate through Academic Tracking 222

A Case In Point: A Rude Awakening about Tracking 225

Addressing Diversity of Language in the Classroom 226

Digging Deeper: What about Bilingual Education? 229

Rethinking Teaching as a Culturally Responsive Profession 231

Culturally Responsive Teaching 231

Why “Celebrating Difference” Is not Enough 233

Rewards and Challenges: Honoring Students’ Cultural Differences 234

Beyond Cultural Knowledge—Multiple Perspectives and Social Transformation 235

Philosophical Note: Transforming Society through Social Reconstructionism 236

Recognizing Privilege and Power 237

“Not Seeing Color” as a Problematic Response to Diversity 238

A Special Responsibility—Teaching in a Monocultural School 239

Why It Counts in a Diverse World 241

CHAPTER 8 Teaching Students with Disabilities 249

A Broad Commitment to Equity for Students with Disabilities 251

Historical Note: Burton Blatt’s Campaign to Expose Institutions for Mentally Retarded Persons 252

Federal Mandates for Equity 254

A Case In Point: Daniel Greenwood 256

From Birth to Work: Extending the Age Range of Students in School 257

Philosophical Note: The Inclusion Movement 258

Does Labeling Students with Disabilities Help or Hinder a Teacher’s Work? 261

What Disability Categories Do and Do Not Provide for Teachers 264

How Disability Labels Can Lead to Inequities 264

Simplifying the Categories 267

The Teacher’s Role 267

Rewards and Challenges: Meeting Students’ Diverse Instructional Needs 268

Building Classroom Communities Where Students with Disabilities Belong 268

Being Flexible and Accommodating for Students with Disabilities 269

Collaboration among Teachers: The Key to Success 270

The Goal: A Classroom Environment that Diminishes Differences 272

Digging Deeper: What Kind of Curriculum is best for Students with Disabilities? 273

How Technology Can Help You Teach Students with Disabilities 275

Integrating Assistive Technology into the Classroom 275

Universal Design as a Strategy for Inclusion 276

A Final Point about Assistive Technology and Disabilities 277

Disability: The Same as or Different from Other Diversities? 277

What about Educating Gifted and Talented Students? 279

Why It Counts in a Diverse World 280


CHAPTER 9 Organizing Good Schools and Good Classrooms 289

What Makes a Good School? What Makes a Good Classroom? 291

In Good Schools, Students Are Motivated, Challenged, and Engaged 291

Good Schools and Classrooms Are Communities of Learners 293

Good Schools Know How Well They, and Their Students, Are Doing 295

Rethinking School Organization to Meet Students’ Needs 296

The Traditional Approach: Age-Graded Classrooms and Curriculum 297

Multi-Age Classrooms 298

Looping 299

Historical Note: One-Room Schools 300

Class Size Reduction at the Elementary Level 301

Block Scheduling at the High School Level 302

Digging Deeper: Introducing Innovations into Schools 303

The Small High Schools Movement 304

Rethinking the School Day to Increase Time to Learn 307

Philosophical Note: Organizing Schools and Classrooms for Democracy 309

Rewards and Challenges: Preparing the Next Generation of Recyclers 311

A Recap: Different Organizational Patterns, Different Social Settings 311

Rethinking What Happens at the Classroom Level to Meet Student Needs 312

Differentiating Instruction to Meet Students’ Needs: The Need for Flexibility 312

How Technology Helps Meet Student Needs 313

A Case In Point: Transforming a Sixth Grade Classroom with Technology 318

Meeting Student Needs through Peer Tutoring 320

Meeting Student Needs through Cooperative Learning 321

How Paraprofessionals Help Meet Student Needs 322

Why It Counts in a Diverse World 324

CHAPTER 10 How Governing and Financing Schools Influence Teachers’Work 331

Putting Governance into Perspective 332

The Influence of Local Control of Schools on a Teacher’s Work 333

The Role of the Superintendent of Schools 334

The Relationship between the School Board and the Superintendent 335

Local School Board Policymaking 335

Decision Making at the Building Level 338

The Role of the Principal 338

Local School Governance through Shared Decision Making 339

Teachers’ Leadership Roles in Schools 339

Negotiated Decisions: The Role of Teachers’ Unions 340

Historical Note: Governing the Nation’s Earliest Schools 342

How State Governance Influences a Teacher’s Work 343

The Influence of the Federal Government in Education 344

Rewards and Challenges: Sharing Power in the Classroom 345

Direct Federal Involvement in Education Programs through Legislation 346

A Case In Point: Title IX in Action? 350

Court Decisions and Education 351

Philosophical Note: The Separation of Church and State and Public Education 352

The Influence of Other External Groups on Education Decisions 354

Financing Education: How Dollars Make their Way to Schools, Teachers, and Students 355

Inequities in School Funding 357

From the Federal Government, the State, and the Community to the School 358

Changing Views of the Governance and Control of Schools 359

Digging Deeper: Strengthening or Weakening Public Schools through Choice? 361

Home Schooling: Where Does It Fit? 363

Why It Counts in a Diverse World 365


CHAPTER 11 Ethical and Legal Issues in the Work of Teaching 373

Trust: The Basic Moral Obligation of Teachers 375

The Multiple Dimensions of Trust 376

Philosophical Note: Nel Noddings and the Ethic of Care 378

Creating and Maintaining Trusting Relationships 381

The Teacher as Advocate 382

Rewards and Challenges: The Day-to-Day Challenges of Teaching Ethically 383

Ethical Considerations at the Teacher-to-Teacher Level 385

A Case In Point: Unwanted Advice 385

The School as an Ethical Community 386

A Case In Point: In or Out of the Teachers’ Lounge? 386

Ethical Behavior, Codes of Ethics, and Standards of Professional Practice 389

The Role of Codes of Ethics for Teachers 389

The Ethics of Recommending Candidates for Teaching 389

Historical Note: The Moral Context in Colonial Schools 392

How Legal Issues Influence Teachers’ Ethical Practice 393

Students’ Rights to Free Expression of Opinions 394

Privacy and Confidentiality 395

Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect 396

Corporal Punishment 396

Search and Seizure 397

Religion in the Schools 398

Digging Deeper: The Persistent Debate over Teaching Evolution 399

Technology, the Internet, Fair Use, and Copyright Issues 400

The Personal versus the Professional as an Ethical Issue for Teachers 402

Personal Beliefs and Inclusivity in Public Schools 403

Personal Beliefs and the Curriculum 403

Why It Counts in a Diverse World 404

CHAPTER 12 Becoming a Teacher: New Visions and Next Steps 411

The Profession/Job Conflict 412

Defining the Tension 412

Enduring Myths about Teaching 415

Beyond the Myths: Teaching as a Profession 416

Teaching as a Collaborative and More Public Form of Work 417

Opening the Classroom Doors for Observation and Feedback 418

Philosophical Note: Collaboration and Autonomy for Teachers 420

Collaboration: A Shared Resource for Professional Dialogue 420

Historical Note: The Emergence of Teachers’ Organizations in the United States 421

Teacher Leadership 422

Mentoring as Teacher Leadership 423

Coaching as Teacher Leadership 424

Peer Review of Teaching as Teacher Leadership 425

Teacher Leadership and the New Teacher Unionism 426

Teachers as Researchers 426

How Do Teachers Conduct Their Own Research? 427

A Case In Point: Yolanda’s Research on Teaching Writing in a Middle School Language Arts Class 429

Why Is Teacher Research a Sign of Increased Professionalism? 430

Recognizing Accomplished Teaching through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards 431

Digging Deeper: Differentiated Pay for Teachers? 434

The Role of Networking in Professional Growth and Development 435

Accountability and Control in the Profession of Teaching 437

Time to Grow, Time to Lead 439

Reflecting on Your Views and Beliefs, Assessing Your Progress 440

Reflection: An Enduring Habit 442

Incorporating New Developments in Teaching and Learning 442

School or Districtwide Professional Development 444

Setting Short- and Long-Term Goals 444

Rewards and Challenges: Revisiting Why We Teach 445

Becoming an Informed Professional 445

Challenges on the Horizon in Education 446

Global Education 447

World Languages Education 448

Resegregation of Schools 450

The Future of Public Education 450

Finding Your First Teaching Position: Smart Preparation Pays Off 451

Take Your Preparation Seriously 451

Make Your Portfolio Count 453

Become an Informed Job Applicant 453

Prepare for Your Job Interviews 454

What Counts for You Now as a Teacher in a Diverse World? 456

Glossary 463

References 469

Name index 483

Subject index 487

Teachscape Video Case Material: detailed case studies that include authentic classroom footage, lesson plans, student artifacts, activities, and expert commentary.
Text reinforces the five commitments with cases of authentic teachers in real classrooms, showing best practices in action and the quality of learning that takes place.