Monday, November 2, 2009

Beyond Duncan's Call to Teacher-Ed Betterment

Higher-ed, like business, is profit-driven and there's little motivation to change the status quo.

There are no universal, high standards teacher-ed is held to, other than accrediting agencies, like NCATE, which fewer schools of education choose to attain. Worse, such accreditation is rarely focused on on well are they teaching once they leave us.....what can we do to stay connected and help them improve performance, especially during those first three critical years.

In my own teacher prep decades ago, I was lucky to participate in a Ford Foundation Teacher Trainee program. Several salient features: we interned in classrooms for four years; we observed the district's 'best teachers' at all levels; early on, we worked one-to-one with students, then small groups, then the whole classroom; we got a lot of helpful feedback.

By the time we were offered a job, we had the confidence and skills to be more successful. More importantly, we knew we wanted to be teachers.

Duncan's plan needs a strategy and funding to make change happen. Just talking about it isn't going to make it better.