Friday, June 09, 2006

The Core of Teacher Education

Yesterday we had our second meeting to try to find a core or foundation for our faculty's teacher education programs. It was a much smaller group as compared to the first week and the conversation reflected that.

I was late and by the time I got there our new middle years program was being discussed. The central focus of that program is Social Justice - so everything, it seems, has that perspective built in.

Although I agree with the notion of having teachers try to right some wrongs, be aware of the implicit racism and bias of our school systems - I just have a problem with anything taking the focus away from what I see as a faculty of education's prime purpose - and that is to help interested individuals become excellent teachers.

Now I recognize that the definition of excellence will vary - but I believe that it centres around the teacher's ability in the classroom, their ability to understand what is needed in the classroom, why it should be there and how to make the life of the learners happier, safe, productive and meaningful.

Structuring a program over four years (or over two years) that accomplishes all of our goals will be very difficult - there is a reason I believe that so few teacher education facilities do a poor job of this work. It will be taxing physically, demanding intellectually and politically difficult within the academy.

But it is worth it


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