Writing in the New York Sun, education professor David Steiner says his study of courses required for new teachers found bias toward progressive-constructivist ideas and hostility to high-stakes testing.
Given the divide between “back to basics” and the “constructivist-progressive” models, one would expect education schools to expose students to both points of view. Our research (which covered 165 syllabi of required courses in the foundations of education, the teaching of reading, and teaching methodology) strongly suggested, however, that at many of our highest ranked schools of education, the constructivist-progressivist arguments are being taught to the almost complete exclusion of the other, direct instruction model.
Few incoming teachers are well-prepared to teach math and science content. According to a new U.S. Education Department report, 3.5 percent of future teachers majored in math; 4 percent majored in life science. Some “80 percent of future teachers attended non-selective undergraduate institutions,” observes the National Council on Teacher Quality Bulletin.