Tuned In and Fired Up

How Teaching Can Inspire Real Learning in the Classroom

Sam M. Intrator; Foreword by Elliot W. Eisner

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We treasure the occasions when a classroom of students becomes totally focused, absorbed by ideas. How can teachers make these special moments happen more often?

Every teacher has powerful memories of becoming swept up in an electric moment when the classroom hums with energy and students are wholly engaged in learning. During such moments of real learning, teenagers find genuine meaning, worth, and value in their academic experiences. And their teachers find in these heightened and exuberant moments the embodiment of their best hopes and ideals as educators. How can such “teachable moments” be encouraged? What can teachers do to inspire more of these educationally vital episodes? In this compelling book, Sam M. Intrator scrutinizes powerful learning moments in a high school classroom. He offers five detailed portraits of these experiences, describing in each case how the teacher shaped the culture of the class, made critical pedagogical decisions, and connected students to the subject matter. Intrator confirms that seemingly magical learning moments can becultivated, and he suggests numerous practical ideas to help teachers do so.

Sam M. Intrator is assistant professor of education and child study at Smith College. He is the author of Stories of the Courage to Teach: Honoring the Teachers’ Heart.

“In this beautifully written book Sam Intrator lets us in to the detailed workings of the teaching/learning relationship at its best.”—Denise Clark Pope, Stanford University School of Education, author of Doing School: How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students

"If you seek faith and hope I invite you to spend a day here with Mr. Quinn, a master teacher, and Sam Intrator, a master writer. Here are lessons in The Classroom of Life Today."—Marianne Novak Houston, Facilitator: International Courage to Teach Program

“Sam Intrator is one of the brightest lights in education today. His excellence as a teacher, his commitment to our public schools, his passion for the well-being of the young and those who teach them, his remarkable way with words, and his unwavering integrity mark him as a key leader in the rising generation of scholar-activists who can help bring meaning and purpose back to education. But do not take my word on this. Find out for yourself by reading this lively, compelling, wise and truly extraordinary book.”—Parker J. Palmer, author of The Courage to Teach and Let Your Life Speak

“Great teachers, like Sam Intrator, know what matters most in the classroom. They connect, care, conspire with students; they listen, laugh and love them into learning. With this terrific book, we can too.”—Rick Jackson, Co-Director, Center for Teacher Formation 

“Intrator is both thoughtful and articulate in this study of educationally vital moments. His book is engaging, intriguing, and inspiring.”—Robert W. Roeser, Stanford University

“Young teachers reading this book will learn many valuable things, but the most important message here is that good teaching is more a matter of passion and human connection than of practiced technique.”—David Ruenzel, Teacher Magazine

“A powerful and well-documented book. . . . This year-long journey in a class with an inspirational teacher should be required reading for every teacher and every student contemplating teaching as a profession. . . . I would also recommend this book for every methods class taught regardless of the content area.”—Mary Lynn Collins, Teachers College Record

ISBN: 9780300107661
Publication Date: March 11, 2005
192 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4