Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How to best train teachers?

According to an article in the New York Times, colleges of education are about to "lose the franchise" on training teachers. There have been arguments from various quarters for many years that schools of education are focused too much on theory and not enough on "craft." What are your thoughts?

One reason this is on my [Kim's] mind--Susan Koprince and I have been asked to design a 2-credit "online module" for a proposed MAT program in UND's College of Education. This "module" would somehow offer what Susan and I offer in the 6-credit undergraduate methods classes, and be free-standing. (As in, there would be no way for Susan and I to interact with the students in this course. Basically it's a one-way transmission of information from the module to them.)

Pedagogically this makes my toes curl. How can one teach "craft" in an online, teacher-absentee environment? But if competitors to teacher-training colleges spring up--and I bet a bunch of them will be online--would better-trained teachers actually come out of of those models?

What are your thoughts?