August 14, 2006

Cookie cutting and teaching

Barbara Stengell has a thoughtful piece on teaching models over at The Wall that makes some nice points about the teacher-crusader meme you occasionally hear in anti-ed-school rants. "Why can't folks be taught to be like Jaime Escalante, Rafe Esquith, or Jason Kamras?" This is not serious criticism of ed schools, and it's sort of like saying, "Why do nursing schools have all this 'theory' stuff like anatomy and physiology, when they really should be teaching an efficient method of intubation that got awarded a prize last year?"

The question is not whether teacher education should be teaching theory or methods but whether it's teaching both and doing them well. I would guess that what most people critique as fluff generally comprises people who should be teaching methods and are teaching a watered-down version of social foundations.

(Disclosure: I'm a contributor to The Wall.)

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Posted in Education policy on August 14, 2006 6:49 AM |