“The Flight of a Butterfly” or “The Flight of a Bullet”: The Impossible Dream of Transforming Teaching into a Science « Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

| November 1, 2010

Here’s a nice little summary of the history of behaviorist education, dreaming of being a “Flight of a Bullet.”

“The Flight of a Butterfly” or “The Flight of a Bullet”: The Impossible Dream of Transforming Teaching into a Science « Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice.

Particularly interesting is the imagery. Here’s my favorite line:

The “science” of measuring teacher effectiveness, in short, is sharply contested–and, yeah, that bullet zigs and zags.

We can see the essential tension. If we dream of butterflies or bullets, it is always within the context of the other. Could we say that the dominant image winds up being neither the butterfly or the bullet, but the cycle between them?

Is it an ebb and flow, a vicious circle, a race to the top in which the lead keeps switching? How are we to make sense of it?

In any case, as this article shows, the history of these desires is longer than we imagine. It is as if we can only push them forward by narrowing our vision.

Worth a look…

“The Flight of a Butterfly” or “The Flight of a Bullet”: The Impossible Dream of Transforming Teaching into a Science « Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice.