Foreword by: Maxine Greene
Publication Date: October 1, 1999
In his most recent work and with his usual perceptiveness, Seymour Sarason probes the topic of teaching as a performing art. Refreshingly, Dr. Sarason focuses on the often-overlooked role of teachers in galvanizing an audience—their students. Sarason argues that teachers will better engage learners if they are prepared in the artistry of doing so. Sarason sees teachers as actors and thus uses the traditions of stage performance to inspire ways to foster connections between teachers and students. Sarason elucidates how the rehearsal processes actors undergo and the direction they receive, for example, would be similarly beneficial for educators. Recognizing that implementing his ideas would require a profound rethinking of teacher training programs, Sarason urges why they are crucial to excellence in education. As always, Sarason’s writing is rich with insight garnered from 45 years of teaching and a lifetime devotion to educational issues. His book is essential for teachers and teacher educators and an excellent resource for anyone interested in educational topics.
Seymour Sarason is Professor of Psychology Emeritus at Yale University. In 1962, he founded and directed the Yale Psycho-Educational Clinic, one of the first research and training sites in community psychology. Fields in which he has made special contributions include mental retardation, culture and personality, projective techniques, teacher training, anxiety in children, and school reform. His numerous books and articles reflect his broad interests. He has received awards from the American Psychological Association and the American Association on Mental Deficiency.
“Once again, Sarason, like other great teachers and artists, has us pause at the moral center of what we thought we knew long enough to recognize truths we might otherwise neglect. Just as he guided our understanding of school cultures and school reform, this book reshapes what we previously thought of as ‘the art of teaching’.”
-- Jeannie Oakes, Professor of Education at University of California, Los Angeles
“Seymour Sarason thinks he has something new to say. Indeed, he has. Furthermore, he writes about a domain anyone who has taught in educational institutions identifies with immediately but is almost barren of attention. There are insight, great writing, and passion here, but don’t look for a repetition of anything Sarason has written before. To the thousands of psychologists, sociologists, and teachers of teachers already nourished by Sarason’s writing, this book will add the audience of teachers in and out of schools that he has always wanted to reach.”
-- John Goodlad, Co-director, Center for Educational Renewal, University of Washington, and President, Institute for Educational Inquiry: