Monday, April 14, 2008

How we teach teachers

Education Policy Blog has a couple interesting posts on the way we educate teachers.

Barbara Stengel writes:
We can't tell someone how to teach. But we can give them opportunities to teach, invite them to reflect on what they intended to do and what they did do and what actually happened in the light of accepted theory, time-honored practice, and richly conceptualized research, and we can coach them through this process. In this way, they can be led (in another Dewey locution) "in the direction of what the expert already knows."

One commentor posts:
I think what we do an extremely poor job of is letting pre-service teachers discover that they are not "missionaries" out to fix children, but that they should be "guides in the woods" helping students get from where they are to where they need to go and want to go.Of course the problem is systemic - no system appears more resistant to change than education. College students sit in classrooms as they always have, following non-individualized syllabi as they always have, learning industrial teaching methods as they always have. Then they go out and have that "opportunity to teach" in buildings that do everything as they always have - stamping on student after student, assuming that each is simply raw material which can have 'value-added' as long as enough pressure is applied.And almost nowhere along the way do we really get them to question - what white northern European Protestant - modernist view of the world creates this system and gains from it? Why do we keep enabling a system so destructive to so many children?

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