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Building a Better Teacher

How Teaching Works (and How to Teach It to Everyone)

Elizabeth Green (Author)

Overview | Formats

A New York Times Book Review Notable Book

"A must-read book for every American teacher and taxpayer." —Amanda Ripley, author of The Smartest Kids in the World

Launched with a hugely popular New York Times Magazine cover story, Building a Better Teacher sparked a national conversation about teacher quality and established Elizabeth Green as a leading voice in education. Green's fascinating and accessible narrative dispels the common myth of the "natural-born teacher" and introduces maverick educators exploring the science behind their art. Her dramatic account reveals that great teaching is not magic, but a skill—a skill that can be taught. Now with a new afterword that offers a guide on how to identify—and support—great teachers, this provocative and hopeful book "should be part of every new teacher’s education" (Washington Post).

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • July 2015
  • ISBN 978-0-393-35108-8
  • 5.5 × 8.3 in / 400 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, but excluding the British Commonwealth.

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverBuilding a Better Teacher: How Teaching Works (and How to Teach It to Everyone)


Endorsements & Reviews

“Couldn't be better timed…exhilarating.” — Sara Mosle, The Atlantic

“Moments of educational theater enliven and illuminate the history.” — Kate Tuttle, Boston Globe

“Both a history of the research on effective teaching as well as a consideration of how that research might best be implemented. What emerges is the gaping chasm between what the best teachers do and how we go about evaluating what they’ve done.” — Sebastian Stockman, New York Times Book Review

“Green has spent years looking at what makes a great teacher—and whether the teachers we remember most fondly were born great or simply learned key skills.” — Greg Toppo, USA Today

“[S]hould be part of every new teacher's education.” — Michael S. Roth, The Washington Post

“Elizabeth Green draws upon years of interviews and research as an education writer and CEO of Chalkbeat to make the case for why teaching is a craft and that it can be taught to anyone. Her excellent book should be read for a detailed account of the history of teacher education, an international context, and an entertaining narrative.” — Jonathan Wai, Psychology Today

“We romanticize teachers, and we vilify them, but we don't do much to help. This beautifully written, defiantly hopeful book points the way to a better future for American teachers and the children they teach.” — Paul Tough, best-selling author of How Children Succeed

“Elizabeth Green reveals, in cinematic detail, what makes great teaching such a dazzling intellectual challenge—and why it has taken us so unforgivably long to care. A must-read book for every American teacher and taxpayer.” — Amanda Ripley, author of The Smartest Kids in the World

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