Schools of education will be obsolete by 2036, predicts Peter Wood, provost of The Kings College in New York City.
In 2036, we will still need teachers. Educating and civilising children will always require real adults who enter into sustained relationships with students. But the kind of teachers we will need will be people who know their subjects deeply and who can inspire a love of learning in young people. We simply won’t be able to sustain a system in which teaching is hack work for the untalented and the ideological.
Global competition will force change, Wood argues.
. . . teachers will be recruited from the ranks of the liberally educated and will learn, as good teachers have always learned, by devotion to the task itself.
. . . People who aspire to become real teachers don’t need training in theory and methodology. They need to learn their subjects and kindle to the task of helping young people become owners of their own minds.
I’m not sure how the kindling part will be done. People who’ve mastered history, math or science still need to learn how to help young people learn. Take a look at Dan Greene’s Exponential Curve. He’s a math teacher working with high school students who’ve failed to learn the math fundamentals until now. How does he get them to understand what was easy for him to learn but is difficult for them?
California abolished the education degree decades ago. Would-be elementary teachers major in something called “liberal studies” (as in “liberally educated” not liberal politics). Secondary teachers, who do not have low SAT scores, on average, are supposed to major in the subject they’re going to teach or pass a test on subject-matter knowledge. It hasn’t proven to be a silver bullet through the heart of mediocre teaching.