This is an online companion site to the PBS series by the same name. The site provides in-depth interviews, historical segments, readings from diaries, and visual images that are all related to the PBS program, Only a Teacher. Introductory information on teaching from the 1830s to the present is offered through text, video, and graphic resources.
Type of Material:
Teacher education courses, professional development in teaching, curriculum and instruction courses, and history of education research.
RealPlayer 8 and Shockwave 4.0 or higher
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The main learning goals of this site and this PBS series include understanding and appreciating teacher responsibilities, professional issues in teaching, and teachers as agents of democracy and social change.
Target Student Population:
K-12 Educators and preservice teachers
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
For educators, and especially preservice teachers, this site offers a good range of information on the profession of teaching. The solid overview is nicely anchored with historical information and a timeline which puts things perspective.
The site should be used as a starting point for the different areas represented, rather than an ultimate reference. It can offer an initial introduction to the teaching profession. Teacher education course work, readings, and assignments will be needed to provide more depth in any particular area.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The site can be very effective if the faculty member plans carefully. The range of teaching information and topics allow for varied uses and approaches within a teacher education setting. Classroom activities, investigations, and independent research projects could all start with this site. Follow-up discussions, debates, or presentations can certainly be developed
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The site navigation is very clear and organized in its presentation. The layout from page to page is consistent. The visual images are appropriate and relate directly to the information presented. When accessing text, linked pictures pop-up in small boxes that allow the user to read and refer to the artwork at the same time.
The "Show and Tell" discussion forum is no longer maintained and not available. The links to it are confusing and require a user id and password which is not explained or obtainable. Perhaps, this link should restructured or eliminated from an otherwise strong site.
Other Issues and Comments:
From the authors: We are pleased to have Merlot review our web site. The Only A Teacher web site was designed for a general audience,
but we especially wanted it to be a resource for teachers-in-training, veteran teachers and others working in or connected to K-12 education. Please note that we do have a professional development section, which we designed for teachers to use as a catalyst for discussion in professional development settings and in education meetings/conferences. We are currently producing a clip reel and study guide from the documentary series that we will send to schools nationwide. Our hope is that this effort will further encourage teachers and principals to talk about some of the more pressing issues addressed in the series. The clip reel and guide will refer teachers to the web site for additional discussion suggestions as well as background information.
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