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Despite what some of the more flamboyant voices may say, our schools do not suffer from teachers who don’t care or who have ill will toward their students. Rather, they suffer from the proliferation of bad ideas. Unfortunately, there is a lot of noise in the education space, and it can be hard for teachers, at all levels of experience, to sift through that noise to find meaningful signals.

This is why I’m proud to announce a regular feature coming to The Chalkboard Review–the Chalkboard Book Review. Each month, I will review an education book and report back to readers the good, the bad, and the ugly in education publishing.

My hope for these book reviews is to bring to an audience of teachers and parents information that will be helpful in the pursuit of teaching students using sound pedagogical methods. With that in mind, this space will be used to review books, both old and new, with an eye towards evaluating them for effectiveness when applied to a classroom.

The audience for these reviews is primarily teachers, but I believe in the fundamental rights of parents to be involved in the educational process as well; being familiar with some basic pedagogical theory will be important for parents in understanding that process.

In the first several years of my teaching practice, I was drowning in information on how to run a classroom, none of it effective. Due to faulty teacher training, I was thrust into a classroom of students, and all my attempts at applying what I was told was sound practice led to disaster. I was failing the young men and women in my class and it felt terrible.

It was only once I began questioning what I had been taught that I made progress as a teacher. These reviews are for teachers who, like me, have had a hard time in the beginning, or maybe still are. With the proliferation of countless books on education, it can be hard to know where to start. My hope is that these book reviews will become a resource for teachers to look to for information on what works and what doesn’t 

Jason Anger
Jason Anger is an educator from Wisconsin, a father, and a part-time bartender. He is a regular contributor to Chalkboard Review, where he is also a fellow and member of the social media team. He has been published in Chalkboard Review, City Journal and National Review.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Chalkboard Review team.

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