Theories of Practice

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Introduction Teachers who stand out for their excellence are usually lifelong learners. These are the women and men who keep attend- ing conferences, workshops, discussion groups, or webinars that address continuous professional improvement and change. These are the educators who ask: n How could I have done that better? n When did I lose the group? n How can I adapt this next time to avoid the problems that came up? n W ho might be able to help me generate some solutions to this challenge? The answer to that last question, for me, has often been Lilian Katz. I use every one of her books, journal articles, and quotes that I can find. I attend any local lectures she presents and arrange my National Association for the Education of Young Children conference schedule around her presentations. Her work has always seemed intensely cognitive and totally practical. I have observed at conferences over the years her habit of join- ing groups of practitioners in the commercial exhibits or coffee areas to discuss their views of the field. It was one such instance two years ago that provided the name and underlying premise for this book. I had the good fortune to speak briefly with Dr. 1