Monday, July 21, 2014

It's A Wonder Our Schools Are As Good As They Are

If you want to read about schools of education, and what they do and don't do, go here.  It's pretty sad.
Ed schools are big on reflection, but don’t teach prospective teachers how to teach, complains Peter Sipe, a Boston middle school teacher, in the Boston Herald.

While he went to ed school, his wife was in medical school. She learned how to be a doctor. He reflected...
Pilots aren’t trained by forming small groups to discuss the atmosphere. Cadets don’t become cops by writing weekly responses to Crime and Punishment.

. . . The logic was, I believe, that we would receive our practical training on the job. And I guess I did. But it was rather in the manner one would learn by being told to find the manual after the starboard engines quit.


allen (in Michigan) said...

I should probably explain things to Mr. Sipe. He seems an earnest and thoughtful sort. Just the kind of person the public education system chews up and discards.

pseudotsuga said...

This reflects a 2 month long teaching seminar I did a few years ago. It was a weekly meeting of college instructors, led by a EdD, who led us down her list of current educational theories and practices. We all participated, of course, and tried out these various modalities and learning methods and what-not.
The scuttlebutt was, however, that these things work great on experienced learners (which defines teachers). In the actual "rough and tumble" of the college classroon, however--not so much.
It seemed kinda like a fresh-faced lieutenant assigned to grizzled troops who'd already spent months in combat...

Rhymes With Right said...

The worst teaching I ever experienced was in the College of Education at my alma mater. One prof had his test dates set on the syllabus and refused to change them, despite being two weeks behind in covering the material. Another assigned a research paper that was graded -- I kid you not -- based upon the number of footnotes and sources, not the quality of the writing or research.

If I did in my classroom what was done at the Ed School, I would be fired.

Gringo said...

It's A Wonder Our Schools Are As Good As They Are.

Indeed.There is a need for pedagogy, as it is not intuitively obvious what is the best way to teach a given subject to a given group of students. Unfortunately,instead of informing prospective teachers what has worked in formal classroom for the last 2500 years, Ed Schools concentrate on two irrelevancies.

First, Ed Schools focus on the new great educational theory- an unproved one- which will sweep before it all previous theories. Every five years, there is a new unproved theory to arrive on the scene. Second, Ed Schools focus on the latest Politically Correct fad.
Given the totally dysfunctional approach of our Ed Schools, it is truly amazing that any competent teachers come out of the system.
This is not anything new. An aunt of mine who taught for 35 years had the same opinion of the Ed School she attended back in the 1930s.

maxutils said...

Rhymes wit Right ... exactly. I feel your pain.

Anonymous said...

In the 50s and 60s, a secondary ed degree required exactly half the credits for a major/minor as did the College of Arts and Sciences; the difference was made up by hot air and BS. Many students, particularly the top ones, took more credits in their majors, of course. In addition, I have never understood why BS programs in nursing, medical technology, engineering etc. can graduate kids who can pass real-world licensure exams and are ready to function as professionals, despite having to learn completely new material and skills, when el ed majors can't be assumed to know the academic content across the disciplines and the most effective and efficient ways to teach it - when they should know the former before they enter college. Some kids do know the content, of course, but it doesn't seem as if many el ed programs make sure all do