Monday, December 6, 2010

Learning about what teachers are learning.

I really don’t like to beg, people—but I will if I have to. Again: We NEED journalists to spend time in teacher education and show us the gaps between what teaching aspirants learn and what they need to learn to be successful in the classroom. It seems to me that this could fall under your beat whether you cover K-12 or higher ed.

Jane Roberts of the Memphis Commercial Appeal recently wrote a piece about how Tennessee’s annual report card on teacher training programs showed that Teach for America members are getting good results from their students. What really caught my eye in the piece was a spokesman for the University of Memphis, whose graduates rank lower in improving student scores, saying that their education majors “are now being required” to take courses in math, language arts, science and social studies. As in, they weren’t before.

What they learn in their training programs. What they need to learn to do the job well. Help the public see where the dots connect, and where they don’t.

1 comment:

  1. Great advice, Linda, and I'd add that no teacher-ed "field trip" is complete without also asking how would-be school administrators are being trained. Those teaching the PhD-level courses in school administration often are themselves former school administrators, whose teaching method leans heavily toward "war stories" about their own experiences. While this seems superficially appealing - who doesn't favor "practical, real-world" instruction? - it also risks producing a warped view of students and teachers as "problems" to be managed. A bad school principal is the "Typhoid Mary" of education, and in our understandable focus on teacher quality, we have all paid insufficient attention to principal quality.