Book Review

Improving Student Learning One Teacher at a Time

by Jane E. Pollock, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Alexandria, Va., 2007, 143 pp. with index, $23.95 softcover

Improving Student Learning One Teacher at a Time emphasizes the fundamental philosophy that improvement of an individual student is directly related to what an individual teacher does. The book is a little bit of everything — part textbook, part practical guide, part history lesson and part teacher reflective journal. Best of all, it is highly readable, thought provoking and useful.

The author focuses on the Big Four approach by which individual teachers can best have an impact on achievement for every student. The book examines the use of specific terminology, focused instructional planning and technique, purposeful assessment and the application of methodical assessment and feedback strategies.

Each chapter includes practical implementation suggestions such as answers to frequently asked practition-er questions and relevant book and website information. The chapters are followed by what are, in essence, teacher journal entries offering the reader authentic teacher perspectives.

The book provides a rich account of benchmarks and assessment models and their uses and offers pertinent historical background on the development of current curriculum philosophy. The author’s approach assists the reader in better understanding the state of instructional planning and delivery today and where educators should be headed. It also provides concrete and sensible recommendations on how to begin the journey.

Because the book provides such an array of information in a variety of formats, it can be used by individual teachers, principals, curriculum directors or superintendents.

Reviewed by Marilyn H. King, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, Bozeman Public Schools, Bozeman, Mont.