Do Education Schools Prepare Teachers to Teach?

Classical educators have long been concerned about whether teacher’s colleges have been producing teachers who are qualified to teach in a classical school. School leaders often state that it is easier to hire a teacher from another profession because “they have less to unlearn.”

The Pope Center for Higher Education Policy is concerned too, though not just for classical schools. They have produced a report for North Carolina called Univesity of North Carolina Education Schools: Helping or Hindering Potential Teachers?. Here’s a summary from their web site.

This paper looks at a major problem found in schools of education throughout the country, including the UNC system. That is the overemphasis on what is sometimes called “student-centered learning,” but is also known as “progressivism” and “constructivism.” As this report reveals, that approach to learning has major weaknesses when it comes to teaching potential teachers.

To learn more, click HERE to visit their website.

The NAS web site is also concerned about what our teacher’s colleges are producing. NCATE is the leading accreditor of education schools and they have just annointed a new president. Here’s what they say at NAS about NCATE and the ed schools they accredit:

Ask what’s wrong with American K-12 schooling, and a disproportionately large part of the answer comes down to schools of education that systematically mis-prepare would-be teachers for their careers. Ask why schools of education are so terrible, and NCATE looms as a significant part of the answer. NCATE is, with no real exaggeration, the enemy of those who hope to restore good, substantive teaching in America’s schools. By and large, it favors “process” over substance, trendy pedagogy over sound practice, psychological adjustment over cultivated self-control, and social messaging over objective knowledge. 

Sounds familiar. Read the rest of their article HERE.

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4 Responses

  1. Dawn,

    If your concern is travel or age of student, I probably agree that it isn’t time for the apprenticeship. But if your concern is about it being too “professional,” I wouldn’t worry about that.

    We focus on teaching at the highest possible level, but not only in the school setting. Some of our teachers are home educators who simply don’t have to worry about the same issues that a teacher does in a professional setting.

    So, not entirely sure how you are meaning professional, I don’t think that should be a back breaker.

  2. I wasn’t, so googled [grin]

    I’m afraid that is probably more professional than I’ll ever approach … my certificate lapsed years ago and my oldest student is 4, so I don’t think that much travel nor assigning Lost Tools of Writing will work quite yet (although it is in serious contention on the 12-K plan)

    I don’t anticipate teaching professionally (and never have done so) … If you’re not a coach, History, oh excuse me, “Social Studies” Ed doesn’t get you many job offers here, sad isn’t it?

    I’ll grab the book recs off the apprenticeship page, though. Thanks!

  3. As a person holding a degree in Secondary Education, I would totally concur. “Philosophy of Education” (at least at Ohio State) was very one note: Dewey. It didn’t touch on other methodologies, ideas, (Classical Education, what’s that?) or philosophies. It gave no options; and no indication that there might *be* other options. I never head of Poetic Knowledge or Wisdom & Eloquence or Truth, Beauty, Goodness before I had already determined to homeschool. The majority of my training was in Classroom Management and Dewey (well, and Multi-culturalism [blech] because I was in “Social Studies”) all of which I’m desperately trying to unlearn before schooling in earnest here.

    I’m reading your book on classical education, Poetic Knowledge, and have Norms & Nobility on my list. I’ve read Wisdom & Eloquence (twice), WTM, and Teaching the Trivium (I forced my way through) Any pedagogy books to add to my ever growing list? The Seven Laws book?

    • Dawn,

      I recommend The Schools We Need and Why We Don’t Have Them by E.D. Hirsch and Left Back by Diane Ravitch. They aren’t classical, but they get the importance of knowledge.

      You might also enjoy the CiRCE apprenticeship. Are you familiar with it?

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