‘Schools of education focus on fads, not knowledge and skills’

by Grace

There are many reasons for the lamentable state of education in the United States today, but perhaps none is greater than our schools of education.

Larry Sand gives a first-hand account.

My experience at California State University, Los Angeles in the 1980s was typical. The courses were easy. Rigor was non-existent. I took eleven courses for credit, receiving ten As and one B and never once feeling intellectually challenged. There was typically an easy mid-term and a final and a paper (which was supposed to show that I knew how to deliver a lesson).

Sometimes the courses were like being back in grade school. I had a lot of fun in my methods classes, especially in Physical Education, where we played games all period.

Sand goes on to describe some recent trends in ed schools, including the practice of facilitating student discovery instead of direct instruction, whole language,  “Culturally Responsive Education” (CRE), and anti-racist math.

A possible bright spot in teacher education

Arizona State University, with the largest undergraduate teacher prep program in the country, has just this year unveiled a “radical” new program, in which students must demonstrate mastery of specific teaching skills as measured by a popular teaching framework. ASU is using the Teacher Advancement Program, a model run by the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching.

Related:  If you want a high GPA in college, you might consider majoring in education.

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