Do We Want A Teaching Profession or Not?Posted: December 16, 2011
The uneven quality of teaching in America is directly proportional to our chaotic and archaic approaches to teacher preparation, certification, and evaluation. My Teacher Leader colleagues and I, in our book, Teaching 2030, summarized the sad state of affairs at that point:
- Over 600 alternative certification programs offering abbreviated pedagogical training (usually just a few weeks) to novices before placing them in some of the most challenging teaching situations.
- 43 states require teacher candidates to pass some type of written subject area test, but only five require them to demonstrate knowledge of how to teach the subject.
- Only 39 states require potential teacher candidates to do student teaching, and that may range from 8 to 20 weeks (out of the average 36 week school year).
- In most places there are no requirements for who gets to supervise student teachers and no requirements that those supervisors should themselves be effective teachers who know how to mentor new recruits.