Trendy teacher training
Many teacher education courses are useless to a new teacher, writes Samuel Walker of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
The curricula offered by university education departments are heavy on fuzzy self-awareness, multicultural, and other faddish or politicized material, and light on the hard knowledge of the subjects that teachers must eventually teach.
He singles out a Michigan State class called Teacher Education 250: Human Diversity, Power and Opportunity in Social Institutions.
Teacher Quality Bulletin reports on a meta-analysis published in the Spring 2003 Review of Educational Research (not online) on teacher characteristics that correlate with student achievement: Teachers who attend selective colleges and do well on their licensing eams produce higher student achievement. In mathematics — but not in other subjects — advanced degrees, extra coursework and certification are linked to student progress.
Reforming teacher education is the goal of the Ready to Teach Act. It’s a good bill, says the Heartland Institute.
Update: Bastiaan Braams’ new education blog, Scientifically Correct, reports on an education conference titled “Can Education Schools Be Saved?”