A new paper from the Education Schools Project
says there's a lot not to like about teacher training
. I have read only the executive summary
of the report, and it's damning enough. Selected quotes:
- Unlike law and medicine, in education there is no standard approach to preparing teachers. The length of programs varies from one to five years and programs are offered at the undergraduate level, the graduate level, or both.
- ...alumni and students complain that too often the experiences of faculty members were not recent or long enough. As a result, they say, lessons are often out of date, are more theoretical than practical, and are thin in content.
- In addition to being disconnected from schools, faculty members remain disconnected from the rest of the university because their research is considered lacking in academic rigor by their faculty peers.
- Universities use their teacher education programs as �cash cows,� requiring them to generate revenue
to fund more prestigious departments. This forces them to increase their enrollments and lower their admissions standards. Schools with low admissions standards also tend to have low graduation requirements.
- More than half (54 percent) are products of Masters I universities, but students at these universities have, on average, lower standardized admission test scores and high school grades than their peers at doctoral universities. The faculties at Masters I institutions
are the products of less distinguished graduate schools than their colleagues at doctoral universities. ... Controlling for experience, the study found that students with teachers prepared at Masters I universities have significantly lower growth in math and somewhat lower growth in reading than those with teachers who prepared at doctoral universities.
- Teacher education in the United States is principally a mix of weak and mediocre programs.