Teaching on a Tightrope offers those seeking to play the teacher's role a way of thinking about the major components of teaching. These components are described in terms of pairings that interact and overlap with each other, e.g., teaching as art and science, content and process, theory and practice, cognition and emotion. Each pairing is focused on the overall relationship and communication between actor/actress, the teacher, and audience, the students. The authors propose that a truly great teacher must learn how to balance the many components of teaching to fit both subject and audience. Success depends upon the knowledge, skill, and performance of the one playing teacher in reaching those in the student roles. Practice must be informed by theory, content by process, cognition by emotion; no single factor can stand by itself, but must link to others. Teaching is portrayed as difficult and rewarding, yet often disappointing as well, as a better teacher slowly emerges, and perhaps becomes the great teacher we would all like to be.
Jack Zevin is professor of education at Queens College/CUNY who began pedagogical life as a teacher on the South side of Chicago. Teaching is a passion as much as a profession for Jack, and he has contributed many articles, books, and curricula to enhance and enrich instruction for those willing to try creative approaches inside and outside classrooms.
Chapter 1 Preface: Roles Teachers Play Chapter 2 The Five Dimensions of Teaching Roles Chapter 3 Actress/Actor and Audience Chapter 4 Art and Science Chapter 5 Content and Process Chapter 6 Cognition and Emotion Chapter 7 Theory and Practice Chapter 8 The Daily Reality Show: Madness, Euphoria, and Manic Depression