Bravo for your editorial on teacher education (TNT, 6-24). I have my master’s in education from a prestigious university. An “essay” question on one final examination was: “You are a high school principal. One morning you come to school to find a caricature of yourself drawn in soap on the school door. What do you do?”
My four word answer was, “I would erase it.” For this I earned an “A.”
That was many years ago, but I doubt things have changed much. At better universities, top students who might want to teach shy away from courses in education knowing that having taken them will not impress potential employers.
Heads of many private independent schools, of which I was one, are reluctant to employ teachers who majored in education for middle and high school grades. They know their qualifications will not appeal to many prospective patrons and suspect they may also be weak in mastery of subject matter content.
I taught as a volunteer in public schools for many years after retiring. From this experience I can assure you there are many wonderful and dedicated teachers in our schools, more than we deserve. But they have deserved better preparation than most university schools of education are giving them.