In this episode, EconTalk host Russ Roberts spoke with education journalist Elizabeth Green about her new book, Building a Better Teacher. Their conversation covers teaching as a craft, the role and history of schools of education, and the efficacy of various education reforms.

Use the prompts below to spark your own conversation offline.

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Check Your Knowledge:

1. Describe what Green means when she speaks of teaching as a craft. How does this compare to what aspiring teachers are taught in colleges of education, according to Green?

Going Deeper:

3. Is good teaching more art or science? Use examples from the conversation to buttress your answer. (Personal experience is welcome here as well.)

4. To what extent is there a problem in colleges of education today, and is that problem better characterized as a problem of (misaligned) incentives or of culture? Explain.

Extra Credit:

5. Roberts had a similar conversation with Doug Lemov in 2013. What is the Get it/Do it gap, according to Lemov? Lemov has had lots of success in “building better teachers” through Uncommon Schools. To what extent can this same level of success be replicated in public schools? Explain.