Thursday, May 05, 2005

Schools of Education

This will be the first post on schools of education. I thought I'd give you some background reading, and then I'll switch to anecdotes. Teachers, does any of this jibe with your experiences?



According to Ms. Kramer, prospective teachers are taught little of practical classroom strategies and little academic content. There is much discussion about the ills of society, racism, and sexism, almost always slanted to the left, usually to the far left. There is a lot of hand wringing about testing, and how it destroys the self-esteem of our children.

Testing is to be avoided not just for the supposed ill effects on the children, but because "no one wants to know the actual results of these policies - whether they really help poor students, how they affect the bright and the gifted. The ed school establishment is more concerned with politics - both academic and ideological - than with learning."

Departure from this value system is not permitted. Those who dare question the prevailing wisdom of cooperative learning strategies such as the "workshop model" mandated in all New York City classrooms, risk being called elitist or racist. In this perverse world, high performance is not the goal, but something that is actually to be avoided.

Since this book is based on research done more than 15 years ago, one might hope that perhaps things have changed for the better since then. Unfortunately, that does not appear to be the case.

Or this, from a science professor:


henny said...

I actually really enjoyed my Masters program in ed, and I learned a lot about different language learning programs, as well as "white privilege", which of course in retrospect was a bit much! But you are correct if you think I did not learn to teach in my teaching program.

I learned to teach in a quick 4 week language teaching program that I did not receive college credit for but incorporated lots of hands on experience, and I mostly learned to teach by finding the best teachers wherever I worked and learning from them.

Darren said...

That's the thing about SDAIE--it's nothing more than what good teachers already do anyway.

Learning to teach? Why, that would mean there's a recognized canon out there and the instructor would just fill your head with the information. Can't have *that*, can we?