One impediment to change in any situation or field is that we tend to hesitate to believe in things we haven’t seen with our own eyes. Sometimes when you want to solve a problem, the solution doesn’t exist. But sometimes it does and you just haven’t seen it yet. For example, maybe you still believe achievement gaps aren’t closeable.
To this point, Doug Lemov’s TEACH LIKE A CHAMPION 2.0 makes this argument: “We are not suffering from a lack of solutions so much as our failure to learn from teachers who have generated insight and put their ideas to work.” Achievement gaps are closeable, and this book, a follow-up to his 2010 bestseller, TEACH LIKE A CHAMPION (which I wrote about here), describes 62 techniques that have been demonstrated to help.
This new version is not merely some lightly-ruffled second edition. Doug and his colleagues have spent the past four years vigilantly researching what he calls “champion teachers,” looking for additional clues about what makes them successful. For instance, he has added a whole new section on checking for understanding and how to build a “culture of error”—an environment in which it’s safe to be wrong. As he rightly points out, “If your goal is to find and address the mistakes your students make, your task is far more difficult if your students seek to hide their errors from you.” So he explains how to solve that problem. He has also expanded the original technique called “Ratio” into several chapters that focus on how to strengthen student engagement and rigor (what he calls “participation ratio” and “thinking ratio”)—by building ratio with questioning, writing, and discussions.
Doug addresses many important concerns that teachers have, whether they’ve been in the field for 20 minutes or 20 years. And his writing is crisp, clear, and humble. He knows this is hard work, and he’s doing everything he can to help. Last but definitely not least, in addition to refining his previous ideas and developing new ones, he includes 75 video clips.
So we can see things for ourselves.