chapter  1
11 Pages

Is ‘The Art of Teaching’ a Metaphor?

WithElliot Eisner

One of the ironic features of research on teaching is the general neglect of the role that artistry plays in its practice. I say ironic because if teachers are asked to characterize the nature of their work they are much more likely to describe it as an art or a craft than as the application of a science, or even a technology. Yet if you consult the most recent Handbook of Research on Teaching you will find that that four-and-a-half pound tome which has 880 entries in its index has no entry devoted to the art of teaching. To be sure there is an entry on the teaching of art — something I care about deeply — but nothing on artistry in teaching. Both the editor and the authors neglect it, despite the fact that teachers don’t.