Education Majors Are Too Easy, writes Cristina Duncan Evans, who teaches social studies at a Baltimore high school, in Education Week Teacher.
After graduating from an Ivy League college, Evans entered teaching through alternate certification. She earned a master’s degree in teaching and takes education courses to maintain her certification.
Her education coursework has been short on rigor and problem solving, she writes. Instructors often use exercises that treat teachers as though they were children.
“Too frequently instructors simply show teachers an instructional practice, have them play the roles of students, then move on to the next portion of the session,” Evans complains. There’s no debrief on what worked and why.
Too often I’ve come to the end of an education class and had practical questions about how the theory I learned was supposed to guide day-to-day interactions with my students. I took the state’s required literacy courses, but I didn’t know how to assign texts in a way that built both literacy skills and content knowledge until I began reading professional texts independently.
Teacher education programs’ low entrance requirements and unchallenging coursework are a turn off for high-achieving students, writes Evans. “When people who love learning don’t find it remotely appealing to study education, something’s wrong.”
Prospective teachers are misled about their preparation for the classroom by Easy A’s, concludes a report by the National Council on Teacher Quality.