Pretty Much Anyone? Part III: Pretty Much Anyone Can Talk About SMART Goals

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Another distinction is in order, this one between two parts of ITP.  This distinction is best made by referencing a classic, but now-outdated (Shulman, 1986), dichotomy in the philosophy of teaching: pedagogy and content.  Insofar as ITP is a teaching endeavor (the teaching of teaching teachers, that is), we can consider the pedagogy of ITP (ITP-P) and the content of ITP (ITP-C).  I think we need a diagram.

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Trust me, all the acronyms are worth it… we’re about to get to the juicy stuff.

ITP-P involves such concepts as “how adult learners learn,” “how to engage and motivate adult learners,” “how to foster productive dialogue with colleagues or subordinates,” “how to deliver constructive feedback in a productive way,” etc.  Note that these skills can be taken as somewhat universal.  That is, they’re not tied to teaching teachers of a particular grade level, content area, or type of student.  And the implication, again, is that pretty much anyone can be trained in these skills.  For example, think of an instructional coach who encourages the teachers under her guidance to set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals.  This improvement strategy is universally suitable (or not, as the case may be) to all types of teachers.

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