Recent studies have made it clear that significant differences in ability to improve student achievement exist among fully trained and experienced teachers. J. E. Stone’s paper argues that these differences reflect the education community’s view that student achievement is not public education’s highest priority. Rather, achievement is only one valued outcome among many, and it often suffers from inattention.
The education community’s priorities are consistent with ideals that have been taught in teacher training programs for decades, but especially since the sixties. They have come to constitute a pedagogical orthodoxy that the vast majority of educators treat as unquestionable.
The pedagogical concepts in which teachers are indoctrinated shape the education community’s preference for schooling that is relatively ineffective and inefficient. Teachers are taught that it is more important to use stimulating and engaging practices than to use effective ones.