Strange as it may seem we have forgotten teachers in the free-fall nature of what education and learning is for. Jon Saphier, in a marvelously comprehensive re-positioning of ‘high expertise teaching,' has given the 'system’ and all of us as individuals a fundamental and stirring wake-up call for action. Read and consume this new ‘bible;’ it makes expert teaching come alive exactly at the time we need it most.
If you could choose one focus for school reform, what would it be? Jon Saphier, the renowned master of instructional practice, says there can only be one right answer: good teaching. He argues, citing research, experience, and common sense, that Highly Effective Teaching is not only the most vital element, but is also fully understood and achievable. In this important book he gives us a detailed blueprint for how to make it possible. Education would be better everywhere if we followed the advice in these pages.
Jon Saphier is a national treasure. At the time of our greatest teacher shortage in a century, Saphier provides a guide for developing and maintaining a commitment to a culture of excellence in every school. This book sums up not only the latest and best evidence, but also a lifetime dedicated to the teaching profession and the development of high-expertise teaching. He calls leaders, policymakers, and parents to account for the fact that we routinely tolerate mediocrity from the classroom to the board room. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way.
"Veteran educator Jon Saphier offers a comprehensive, thoughtful, and timely contribution to the field. Combining the keen observations of a cultural anthropologist and skilled ethnographer with more than 60 years in the profession, Saphier makes the case that High Expertise Teaching (HET) is the primary route to improved student achievement. He shines the light on the 'teacher opportunity gap' to learn HET and describes what educational leaders can do to fill that gap.
"If you think we can’t give all kids the education they deserve, think again. In his compelling new book, Jon Saphier not only urges us to rely on the knowledge we have to create the schools we need, but he shows us how to do it. By developing reliable systems to support skillful teaching throughout their school, educators can proceed with confidence and certainty rather than chance or whim."
"Drawing on a lifetime of scholar-activism in combating inequity in the nation’s schools, Jon Saphier’s new book focuses on something that school districts can actually control: the systematic supports for teacher learning that districts are in a position to provide—but in general do not. The book is a call to practical action that the leadership of any district or state agency can choose to hear or ignore—with the greatest of consequences for students in our schools."
"Jon Saphier’s starting point is recognizing the complexity of teaching. Then he explains clearly and powerfully what and how we can put practices in place so teachers can develop the expertise they need to address that complexity. Coaches, leaders, and teachers who want to understand how to prepare teachers for the art and craft of teaching (and shouldn’t that be everyone) need to read this book and put its ideas into practice."
"The greatest crisis in education relates to courage—the courage to call the low and high levels of expertise among educators, the success or otherwise of central offices to support and scale up expertise, and the courage of the profession itself to scream from the rooftops that student success is fundamentally due to their expertise. We have so much expertise, but we lack the courage to call it when it is not present, blaming the structures of schools, the funding, that parents sent the wrong child to the class, the curriculum, the tests, and so on.
"Jon Saphier is the country's leading authority in explicating the skills and knowledge needed for skillful teaching. In this volume, he takes it up a level, offering a similarly comprehensive approach to building the systems and culture needed to support excellent teaching. Synthesizing more than five decades of research with his extensive practical experience, Saphier offers a one-stop-guide to everything a school or district leader needs to create wall-to-wall high expertise teaching."
"One of Jon Saphier’s gifts to the field has been his highly-detailed guide to effective teaching. Now he’s taken the same practical and comprehensive approach to describing the conditions needed for that quality teaching to take root in schools and districts. It’s a daunting task, but Saphier provides readers with a detailed map, an abundance of tools, and frequent concrete examples to help us envision quality leadership practice. With this wise book as a guide, leaders will know the most important steps to take to ensure every child receives High-Expertise Teaching."