Lortie’s book was the eventual outcome of a massive study of, ironically, 94 teachers about their work in the Boston metropolitan area. Lortie came up with four findings that are all still relevant today.
One of the interesting points that Hargreaves makes was in regards to psychic rewards:
Teaching is rooted in what Lortie called “psychic rewards.” Teachers “concentrate their energies at points where effort may make a difference,” rather than in vague discussions about how to make things better, Lortie wrote. Reformers ignore the psychic rewards of teaching at their peril. It’s students, not data that drive teachers. Online learning struggles to address teachers’ psychic connection to their students. Evidence-based improvement often has little impact on teaching because it doesn’t respect teachers’ psychic rewards. Lortie warned against highly structured interventions that are “developed by people whose orientations are different from classroom teachers” and that do not understand teachers culture.