I spend a lot of time on this blog talking about teachers and policies related to them. But what about those who teach teachers — at least those teachers who receive traditional certification from postsecondary schools of education?
Last week the Fordham Institute released the results of a survey of more than 700 education professors “to determine how they view their own roles and what they think of myriad K-12 policy developments that have taken place over the last decade.” The report Cracks in the Ivory Tower? sheds some light on education policy debates.
As Checker Finn points out, there are some modest signs of more education professors being open to reforms of teacher tenure, incentive pay and alternative certification. But overall, they still “see themselves as philosophers and evangelists, not as master craftsmen sharing tradecraft with apprentices and journeymen.”
Our own State Board of Education chairman Bob Schaffer, participating as one of the “Education Experts” on the National Journal blog, is not terribly impressed. Schaffer latches onto the finding that only 36 percent of education professors see teaching math facts as “absolutely essential” compared to a much higher percentage who believe in the critical importance of teaching 21st Century skills: Continue Reading »