RS: How do you define quality teaching?
Meier: Teaching that engages — or reengages — kids and their curiosity about the world, gets them asking questions and subjecting their own and other people's ideas to tough testing, that calls upon the best habits of mind and imagination, that makes perseverance seem obvious and natural, that widens their horizons in terms of subject matter, people, and places.
RS: What can teacher education programs do to prepare students for classroom experiences — especially in high-needs schools?
Meier: They could reengage the adults who are interested in teaching to their own resources as learners, help them reflect upon when and how they learn. Teacher preparation should be set within a community of learners who struggle to identify important ideas, take some responsibility for their ideas, and help them translate their learning in varied formats, including how to pass it on to novices.
RS: What do you think of No Child Left Behind's provisions for "highly qualified" teachers?