Building a Better Teacher: How Teaching Works (and How to Teach It to Everyone) (Paperback)

Building a Better Teacher: How Teaching Works (and How to Teach It to Everyone) Cover Image

Building a Better Teacher: How Teaching Works (and How to Teach It to Everyone) (Paperback)

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A New York Times Notable Book



"A must-read book for every American teacher and taxpayer." —Amanda Ripley, author of The Smartest Kids in the World


Launched with a hugely popular New York Times Magazine cover story, Building a Better Teacher sparked a national conversation about teacher quality and established Elizabeth Green as a leading voice in education. Green's fascinating and accessible narrative dispels the common myth of the "natural-born teacher" and introduces maverick educators exploring the science behind their art. Her dramatic account reveals that great teaching is not magic, but a skill—a skill that can be taught. Now with a new afterword that offers a guide on how to identify—and support—great teachers, this provocative and hopeful book "should be part of every new teacher’s education" (Washington Post).



Elizabeth Green is cofounder, CEO, and editor in chief of Chalkbeat, a nonprofit education news organization. A former Spencer Fellow at the Columbia School of Journalism, she has written for New York Times Magazine and other publications.
Product Details ISBN: 9780393351088
ISBN-10: 0393351084
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: July 13th, 2015
Pages: 400
Language: English
Couldn't be better timed…exhilarating.
— Sara Mosle - The Atlantic

Moments of educational theater enliven and illuminate the history.
— Kate Tuttle - Boston Globe

Both a history of the research on effective teaching as well as a consideration of how that research might best be implemented. What emerges is the gaping chasm between what the best teachers do and how we go about evaluating what they’ve done.
— Sebastian Stockman - New York Times Book Review

Green has spent years looking at what makes a great teacher—and whether the teachers we remember most fondly were born great or simply learned key skills.
— Greg Toppo - USA Today

[S]hould be part of every new teacher's education.
— Michael S. Roth - The Washington Post

Elizabeth Green draws upon years of interviews and research as an education writer and CEO of Chalkbeat to make the case for why teaching is a craft and that it can be taught to anyone. Her excellent book should be read for a detailed account of the history of teacher education, an international context, and an entertaining narrative.
— Jonathan Wai - Psychology Today

We romanticize teachers, and we vilify them, but we don't do much to help. This beautifully written, defiantly hopeful book points the way to a better future for American teachers and the children they teach.
— Paul Tough, best-selling author of How Children Succeed

Elizabeth Green reveals, in cinematic detail, what makes great teaching such a dazzling intellectual challenge—and why it has taken us so unforgivably long to care. A must-read book for every American teacher and taxpayer.
— Amanda Ripley, author of The Smartest Kids in the World