SQE March 23, 2014, on topic — More education doesn’t necessarily make teachers better
Credentialing Of Teachers Needs Serious Scrutiny
1 NO, teachers should not get automatic pay raises with increased points on their credentials. This has little relationship to effectiveness, especially if added points are gained from the teacher’s own choices — which maybe just satisfy a personal interest. However, if administration recommends further training to acquire more competence, say in special education, that’s a different story.
2 Teachers can get credits just by going to conferences or some strange PD days put on by the union. This also does not necessarily have a relation to competence in the classroom and might even have a negative effect. What if after one day a teacher thinks they know all about “discovery math” for example but cannot apply skills necessary? What if a teacher takes a critical thinking one-day PD session and the texts and styles recommended are critical theory, critical literacy or critical pedagogy — pure Marxism?
3 People are wondering just what teacher training is all about. Does it actually train teachers to teach reading, when phonics is still disparaged by so many faculties? Why are there so many theory courses which intend to radicalize teachers . See this report: Radicalization of Teacher Education Programs in the United States, Lexington Institute, 2012. http://www.lexingtoninstitute.org/library/resources/documents/Education/RadicalizationOfTeacherEducationPrograms.pdf
4 At least one national government is concerned about teacher training. Australia has TWO Reviews on the go: one on the National Curriculum, and one on teacher training. These two reviews were undertaken because education became a big issue in the last federal election and when a Coalition government came in it decided to follow-up concerns expressed about the “slanted” curriculum developed during Labour years.
5 What if a PhD is actually counterproductive to the mission? There is this bizarre story of a community breathing a big sigh of relief on hearing a PhD in Math was hired for the department. But scores did not go up. The school board failed to note the specialty of the teacher. The dissertation was on Equity Pedagogy — declaring traditional mathematics to be a form of social oppression. The “expert” was intent on moving the coursework “away” from the transmission of math knowledge, skills, and practices. That’s on pg 34 of this new book criticizing Common Core and 21st Century Learning projects — Credentialed to Destroy: How and Why Education Became a Weapon, Robin Eubanks.