"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Targeting Colleges of Ed

An enemy generally says and believes what he wishes.
-- Thomas Jefferson

Out to destroy the last bastion of liberal or progressive thinking, George Will gets on board with Horowitz and Tierney in attack on professors and specifically on colleges of ed. This is a new low even for Newsweek.

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The surest, quickest way to add quality to primary and secondary education would be addition by subtraction: Close all the schools of education. Consider The Chronicle of Higher Education's recent report concerning the schools that certify America's teachers.
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4 comments:

  1. Anonymous12:39 PM

    I thought he made some interesting and valid points. I suspect alot of people outside of the field of education might as well.

    I came to this blog looking for the other side of the argument but found nothing.

    What is incorrect about Will's article?

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  2. The article was on point. There is no other side. We must stop the dumbing down of America perpetuated by liberals.

    Tom Krepelka
    Plainfield IL

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  3. Michael Maher12:53 PM

    Here are the problems with Will's article:

    1. While NCATE gives a general definition of disposition they do not identify any dispositions colleges of education must incorporate. Therefore, if a school of ed choose to use conservative dispositions they are well within their rights.

    2. To suggest that teacher education curricula lack basic knowledge is not only incorrect but ignorant. Mr. Will has clearly not checked his facts. Teacher education programs and its students must demonstrate knowledge of both content and learners. Their content coursework is taken outside the education program in the colleges of arts and sciences. Their knowledge demonstration occurs in those classroom contexts, actual classroom settings with students of thier own, and in many states on standardized content tests.

    3. Mr. Will suggests "Numerous inner-city charter and private schools are proving that the gaps can be narrowed, even closed, when rigorous pedagogy is practiced by teachers in teacher-centered classrooms where knowledge is regarded as everything. But most ed schools, celebrating "child-centered classrooms" that do not "suffocate discourses," are enemies of rigor." I would like citations regarding the studies he is using. There are numerous studies which also suggest that student-centered, culturally relevant pedagogical techniques are more effective.

    What he is proposing is a point of view which calls for the continuation of dominant hegemonic practices which privilege few and marginalize many.

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  4. Anonymous4:11 PM

    While the education of teachers may be an issue, it is not the only cause of why "only 31 percent of college graduates able to read and extrapolate from complex material" and "fewer than half of U.S. eighth graders have math teachers who majored in math as undergraduates...". There are numerous issues for these problems. (1) class size- how is one teacher supposed to teach 30+ students? If class sizes were smaller, students would no doubt learn more. (2) Teacher salary- no wonder more math majors don't want to teach- they can make 3x a teacher's salary in a private industry. And teachers in most states are required to have a masters degree within five years of starting to teach. So, why would people choose a teaching career? Maybe we need to start paying those who are worth it.

    ReplyDelete