A Lesson for Inspired Teaching: From Those Who Know Best

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BUFFALO, N.Y. — Fresh from her memorable work with life-changing but unconventional “maverick” teachers, University at Buffalo education professor Catherine Cornbleth now turns to a universal challenge in the secondary school arena: how to engage students so they feel personally connected in class while teaching them to excel in today’s standardized test-driven academic culture.

Cornbleth’s newest book, “Teaching With Vision: Culturally Responsive Teaching in Standards-based Classrooms,” addresses what is widely recognized as one of the central issues facing American education: finding successful teaching methods that work in what is known as standards-based classrooms, without losing the individual touch that has been a timeless hallmark of inspirational teaching.

The book selects teachers from around the nation — including five from Western New York — and asks them to explain how they are able to navigate the demands of standards- and test-driven teaching environments without losing their vision of what teaching can be. It is the seventh book written or edited by Cornbleth, a professor of learning and instruction in UB’s Graduate School of Education.

“This is, in my view, an important project,” says Mary H. Gresham, dean of UB’s Graduate School of Education. “Not only are teachers given a ‘voice’ through the lens of an experienced researcher, but this collaboration and respect for teachers is exactly what is needed to find the much-needed solutions for public education.

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