How Teaching Matters

Silverstein, Samuel C.

Silverstein writes a letter to the editor of CBE Life Science Education in response to Harold Wenglinsky's paper “How Teaching Matters: Bringing the Classroom Back into Discussions of Teacher Quality” ( which analyzes how the attributes and classroom practices of teachers affect the performance of eighth-grade students on standardized tests in science. Wenglinsky identified teacher attributes and practices that are highly correlated with superior student achievement. Two of the four attributes and practices identified by Wenglinsky (i.e., teacher laboratory skills and implementation of hands-on classroom exercises) are the central focus of Columbia University's Summer Research Program for Science Teachers ( and of other Science Work Experience Programs for Teachers. Data to be published elsewhere show that teacher participation in Columbia's program has a very positive impact on their students' success in passing a New York State Regents exam in science. Confirmation of Wenglinsky's postulates could greatly simplify the task of improving middle and high school science education. For this reason alone, it is important to test Wenglinsky's conclusions rigorously and soon.


  • thumnail for CBE_Life_Sci_Educ-2006-Silverstein-317.pdf CBE_Life_Sci_Educ-2006-Silverstein-317.pdf application/pdf 25.7 KB Download File

Also Published In

CBE-Life Sciences Education

More About This Work

Academic Units
Physiology and Cellular Biophysics
American Society for Cell Biology
Published Here
January 20, 2016