Linda Darling-Hammond on improving teacher training programs


Click for the transcript of the Linda Darling-Hammond interview.


  1. Thanks for a really interesting interview. Here in the UK teacher education is also under transformation with the establishment of teaching schools and a shift from teacher education being predominantly in higher education to the focus being training “on the job” in schools.

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  2. An interesting talk but I think I’d like to have heard a bit more on the “knowledge building” that arises out of an MA, as in the Finland.  How research or theory can help inform practice is in my view key.  Within language education or more specifically Teaching English Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) this is what I am trying to contribute towards with This may be a useful resource in terms of flipping in language education programmes.  Funding, sponsorship or better still securing a patron is however my most pressing issue – for now it is a labour of love!  Any suggestions?

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  3. I have serious reservations about taking “knowledge building” out of education which it seems to me is what the UK government wants to do.  Teaching is not just about learning procedures but also about understanding and investigating the rationale behind such procedures.  See my post below.

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  4. Interesting to listen to what Darling-Hammond thinks, given her new position.
    But I am disappointed at her waffling on the issue of value-added measurement (around minute 9:00 in the video). There she says that “we need to take into account where do [teachers] teach” etc. Yet that is precisely what VAM is generally successful in isolating — the effectiveness of a teacher as independent of his or her environment. In other words, well done VAM will not penalize teachers for teaching  a group of kids that is further behind (or ahead) than that of their colleagues. Similarly, VAM will account for teachers teaching in more demanding circumstances as compared to teaching in a more “friendly” environment. Another advantage is that VAM does not have fixed expectations but rather allows for relative evaluation, so a teacher can be compared with his or her peer in the classroom down the hall, rather than with some bureaucrat’s idea of what ought to be class’ progress.
    Linda Darling-Hammond certainly knows all this, yet she chose to gloss over it and imply that VAM results are never useful in their application to individual teachers and must be aggregated before use. Probably wise in the political climate of California, but not making her “Ms. Researcher,” wherever it may lead.

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