Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Schools of Edumacation

Philosoraptor writes what many of us in college teaching think but rarely say:
A better solution would be to eliminate schools of education and force teachers to actually specialize in a major. Currently you can't even teach primary or secondary school in most states unless you have an education degree. But education majors (the major program itself, not the individual students) are--as virtually anyone at a university outside the ed school will tell you--a joke.

As it stands now, go to virtually any university in the country. Look at the grades broken down by major. You'll find that education majors have one of the highest GPAs. Ed schools like to say that this is because they get the best students in the university, or because the screening process for their majors is so rigorous. But it isn't true. Ed majors are among the weakest in any university. If you doubt this, go check out LSAT and GRE scores broken down by major. Ed majors are always near the very bottom of the list. Weak students plus a weak, frivolous program plus astronomically high grades...well, these things are not going to generate top-notch teachers.
His recommendation is to eliminate the education major and all schools of education, instead making our future teachers choose a "real" major. In my anonymous and untenured way, I second that and I know many others who would too. In any case, I've never quite understood why people who obviously struggled through school for years would want to repeat the experience for the rest of their lives.


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