Phi Beta Cons

Teacher Ed

Carol: I’ve always thought that one of the fundamental problems of teacher education is the fact that we’ve got teacher colleges–in other words, our future high-school history teachers are learning less history than history majors, for the sake of taking classes on pedagogical theory and the like. I’m sure there’s some basic instruction about how to be a teacher that prospective educators ought to receive, but I also suspect strongly that good teachers mostly benefit from the “learning by doing” model–they become excellent instructors because they’ve spent a few years actually teaching and have gained some experience that no teacher college can give them. Rather than producing education majors, we should produce liberal-arts and science majors who know their subjects, graduate, spend a year or so in the classroom with an experienced teacher, and then strike out on their own.

John J. Miller is the national correspondent for National Review and the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. His new book is Reading Around: Journalism on Authors, Artists, and Ideas.

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