Sunday, January 29, 2017

A Key Reason American Students Do Poorly

   I don't know enough about it to deserve much of an opinion here, but this is basically what I'm inclined to think. If I had to do or die in improving American primary and secondary education, I'd get rid of ed schools and ed majors. There are some programs that basically everyone on every campus knows are lame, and education is one of them. This is no knock on teachers--I always say that most students are made or broken before we ever get a hold of them. I wouldn't want their jobs, and I know I couldn't hack it. However...I don't see how ed schools do much beyond rent-seeking. Teachers should get actual degrees in what they're going to teach, and ed majors should evaporate. Perhaps there could be a minor or something, but I suspect even that isn't necessary. OTOH, school seems to be largely for baby-sitting...so...that's a wrinkle...
   One of my first majors was education...but my friend Bob beat me to it, so, by the time he'd finished his first semester, he was waving me off with horror stories about how terrible, easy and worthless his ed courses were. Though I declared a major, I don't think I ever took a single class. My adviser told me that I couldn't take history of science, philosophy of science, and Constitutional law because I had to take, like, Introduction to Bulletin Boards or something. I quit that major, walked outside the building, and said out loud: "I don't know what I'm gonna do, but I'm not gonna do that."
   Anyway.

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