The year Esmé Codell taught fifth grade, she wore roller skates in the classroom, taught her students how to make sushi and dance the cha-cha, built a time machine — AND raised their test scores. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, what makes a great teacher? Also, underground schools for girls in Afghanistan.
Esmé Codell is an innovative teacher who chronicles her first year of teaching in a diary called "Educating Esmé." She tells Jim Fleming how she taught math by doing the cha-cha, helped her students build a time machine, and was driven out of the school by uninspired administrators. Also, educational consultant David Sousa tells Judith Strasser how the latest brain research is being used to modify teaching techniques in the classroom.SEGMENT 2:
Ruth Messenger of the American Jewish World Service, tells Jim Fleming about the efforts of some women in Afghanistan to run secret schools for girls. Education for girls was outlawed by the ruling Taliban. Also, Paul Pfleuger taught high school history in Capistrano Valley, California for 16 years. He tells Steve Paulson about his in-your-face teaching style and denies the charges that got him fired. Pfleuger's students have called him everything from "a sick man" to "the greatest teacher I ever had."SEGMENT 3:
Stuart Rojstaczer is a hydrologist who teaches and does research at Duke University. He tells Steve Paulson that the pressure on colleges to raise money leads to compromises on the quality of undergraduate education. Faculty members must do research, write funding proposals, and manage their graduate students, leaving little time for teaching undergrads.Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 00-01-16-A.
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