kitchen table math, the sequel: retired high school teacher on ed school

Monday, March 16, 2009

retired high school teacher on ed school

comment left by anonymous:
I know a recently retired high-school teacher with 40 years of experience and an excellent reputation among both colleagues and students (those who are willing to do the work). His opinion is that teachers should major in academic subjects in the College of Arts and Sciences. They can then take the only 3 ed courses (both subject-specific & level-specific) they need, FROM A TEACHER WHO HAS RECENTLY TAUGHT THAT SUBJECT AT THAT LEVEL: (1) basic methods (2) tests and measurements (3) practice teaching.

This one's going into Greatest Hits.


concerned said...

I was certified to teach after receiving my undergrad in math. I think there were 6 or 7 additional courses required, only 2 of which involved developing short lessons for our subject areas - without critical review and analysis.

Too much rhetoric, not enough practice. Does that sound familiar?

mazenko said...

As I recently told some graduates who are pursuing education degrees, few teachers ever speak favorably of their education classes, and most agree that they learned to teach during their first two years of teaching. That said, I don't believe anyone can just step into a classroom knowing their content and teach. However, there is much to be investigated in terms of internships replacing student teaching, as well as a rational reduction in "education classes."

An interesting book about this, published years ago, is "The Conspiracy of Ignorance."

Catherine Johnson said...

Hi mazenko!

Have you read Vicki Snider's book?

I loved it.

Anonymous said...

There are some graduate-level programs that focus on the kinds of classroom skills teachers need. I know of a 1-year master's program in the DC area which takes people with undergraduate (arts/sciences) degrees in their subject and gives them the enough classes to be certified. An integral part of the program is their pairing with an experienced teacher in their subject and level in one of the local school districts. They work with that teacher, as an aide, all year and are given increasing classroom responsibilities. I know one of the graduates, now teaching in the same system, who feels that she was well-prepared to go on her own; even the master's classes were useful. It sounds like the right approach, but I don't know how common it is. (as I understand it, students were not paid as an aide, but the district covered their tuition)