Is Teaching Art or Science?

As a teacher, I find that I practice the same kinds of sharing, reflection and inspiring dialogue with my peers, though my art is not painting, but teaching.

Some of the conversations I’ve been reading recently point to the fact that many schools, districts and educational leaders look at teaching as a scientific algorithm; something that can be pared down to scientific data-based methods.

So, I wondered, is teaching an Art or a Science? I decided to poll my colleagues.

Go find out what the poll said.

I’d be interested in hearing what you think in the comments as well. I think I will put my own opinion there because I don’t want to prejudice you in the direction I would vote.

One thought on “Is Teaching Art or Science?”

  1. I’ve always believed that teaching is a craft. It includes elements of both art and science.

    Some components of teaching have been shown to increase effectiveness, such as Think/Pair/Share, T-charts, and reflective journals.

    But the delivery of content, the style of a teacher, is the art of the profession. Every teacher brings something new to the experience of the learner – and it is often this aspect, and not the content of a course, that the students remember.

    The combination of science and style create craft. Even though there are certain stitches to quilting, or particular flowers for a bouquet, the beauty of the finished piece and take-way depends on the craftsmanship of the tradesman. Thus, with teaching.

    I like the debate, though. My district is currently under the direction that there is ONLY ONE way to teach. We’re all being tutored in this manner, and I’m afraid it is actually stifling the creativity of both the teachers and the students.

    We may pay lip service to the science of this method, but I believe, secretly, we all slip in our particular brand of craftsmanship whenever possible. 🙂

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