Every year about 190,000 teacher candidates graduate from traditional teacher preparation programs believing they are ready to begin the relentlessly demanding career of teaching. Each of these aspiring teachers will have taken at least one education psychology course or instructional methods course (usually both) designed to teach them how children learn and how to create lessons whose content their students will remember. These topics then will be revisited in much of their other coursework. No other subjects will receive as much attention during teacher training as those that purportedly focus on how students learn.
This report contends that textbooks used in this coursework neglect to teach what we know about how students learn despite its central importance in training. Compelling cognitive research that meets scientific standards about how to teach for understanding and retention barely gets a mention in many texts, while anecdotal information is dressed up as science. Theories du jour and debunked notions are being passed on to new teachers as knowledge and best practice.
National Council on Teacher Quality