Tuesday, June 18, 2013

If You're Surprised By This, You Haven't Been Paying Attention

Really?  Teacher preparation is substandard?  Who'd'a thunk???
“We don’t know how to prepare teachers,” said Arthur Levine, former president of Teachers College at Columbia University and author of a scathing critique of teacher preparation. “We can’t decide whether it’s a craft or a profession. Do you need a lot of education as you would in a profession, or do you need a little bit and then learn on the job, like a craft? I don’t know of any other profession that’s so uncertain about how to educate their professionals.”
Interesing.  I pondered that topic over 8 years ago.


allen (in Michigan) said...

Well kudos to Mr. Levine for noticing, at least part, of the obvious. Now all he's got to do is delve into the "why" of the situation and he'll be enjoying the sensation that comes upon you when a previously inexplicable situation suddenly makes sense.

I'm not going to hold my breath though.

It seems a real stretch to notice that teaching skill's of no consequence in the public education system and is valued unequivocally only by parents.

Acceptance of that insight leads to other insights about the public education system but there seems to be a real resistance to consideration of the idea that teaching skill's irrelevant in the public education system. Perhaps the suspicion exists that accepting the irrelevance of teaching skill will lead to other insights from which many people reflexively recoil and thus they recoil from considering the value placed on teaching skill to avoid further, unpleasant considerations.

maxutils said...

Allen ... was one of the irrelevant 'skill's' you learned how to misuse apostrophes?

As one who has been through a teacher training program, I agree that it is not what it could be ... and that most good teachers are born with the knack, rather than trained to be good. I think your assessment of the public school's curriculum as being 'irrelevant' is ridiculous, though. The core of math and English is absolutely useful, and the the rest, even if not immediately obviously necessary helps create a knowledgable, well rounded person, who may discover something he or she loves in the process.

Ellen K said...

I think teaching is a skill. I think teachers need to major in their course area and then take classes to learn how to impart that to students. Right now we have that backwards. My daughter is an amazing dance instructor. She has a BFA and has run a half million dollar a year program for three years. Yet even though she has experience in everything from lesson plans to choreography to competitions to budgets, because she only has alternative certification most districts won't even interview her.