Schools Of Education

They remain a disaster, that should have been abolished long ago.

BTW, I highly recommend Quillette as a web site in general. Claire and others have a lot of smart, heterodox stuff there.

9 thoughts on “Schools Of Education”

  1. When I was in college, I noticed that the female Education majors were often hot cheerleader types; the female History and English majors, not so much. I asked an older male friend of mine, with far more experience with women than I had (at that point almost anyone had more sexual experience than I had) why this should be so. He said that the other females actually had to spend a lot of time hitting the books, while the Education majors could remain attractive air-heads with more time to spend on their looks. Maybe that still hasn’t changed.

  2. A problem with the so-called “Soft Science” fields is that they are particularly prone to being controlled by a small claque enamored with some theorist and will literally cling to that eminence until death: Lysenko, Freud, and for the Education department Piaget.

  3. Here in Texas, it used to be the case that a person with a degree in Education could get a teaching certificate and a job teaching any subject at any school. About twenty years ago, people in charge realized that many of our classrooms were being run by people who did not know the material they were supposed to teach. So, the education major was abolished at public universities and teachers were required to have an actual academic degree in a field related to what they were going to teach. You still needed to take certain Education courses to get your certificate, but you could no longer get one merely by majoring in “Education”.

  4. It was sort of shocking, as a PhD scientist who transitioned to high school teaching to get out of the rat race, to discover the entry barriers I had to hurdle. I’d taught at a university for several years, and at an independent school for about as long, so I knew the basic drill. I decided to get certified, to widen my range of job prospects. One local university wanted $20,000+ and 2 years of classes for a cert in my area. I found another where I managed it for about half of that and a few night classes.
    When I had to take Ed 101, I had more years of teaching experience than the young professor. We were both amused when he deferred to me as the “voice of experience.” Then I found that the public schools would give me no credit for my university or independent school teaching, so I’d be hired pretty low on the pay scale, lower than what I was making at my then-current school. The young guy who was taking the Praxis subject test for the 4th time the day I took it (and the test wasn’t much harder than the SAT subject test) is probably making more than I am now, though he was never a scientist, with all the experience that brings.
    Combined with all the other stuff going on in education, Occam’s razor leads one to believe the system didn’t get that messed up by accident.

    1. It is like the teacher unions set up barriers to competition.

      Or maybe, they just wanted to make sure you could do basic research and weren’t limited to the more advanced stuff.

      I’m glad you stuck with it, because education needs more people like you.

      1. Predates widespread unionization, which really didn’t take hold until Wisconsin passed public employee collective bargaining legislation in the late 50’s and licked over the first domino for other states. Adm. Rickover’s book “Education and Freedom” from 1959 points out almost every problem present in public education today. What’s happened in the intervening decades is that it has metastasized. President Carter’s fulling a campaign promise to create a federal Department of Education has done serious undermining of local school board control of curriculum.

  5. Education is such a mess, at so many levels, that I really think the only solution is to de-fund it all. Left to their own devices, without guaranteed funding for whatever they want to do, a few universities would change and prosper, most of the rest would crash and burn due to stubborn incompetence, but many that did crash would be bought up by people with more sense and a decent educational product might then ensue.

    So, yeah, let the market fix it. Primary education too, if possible. Or at least close down the federal and state bureaucracies and let the local school boards actually run the damn things.

    It would be better, of course, if the whole nasty edifice just died and went into the history books. There are so many better options for education these days, starting with the internet, but also bringing back some tried and true solutions as well, like apprenticeships. The few fields that actually need intensive, hands-on, in-class training could actually be served by providers with the end-goal of graduating competent souls for the workplace.

    I don’t know how to get there. Too many business and political leaders today think that it is their college education that got them where they are. The Department of Education will continue to flourish, no matter how may Republicans get elected, because the few who actually care think they can fix it by tinkering. So, maybe after the revolution…

    Well, one can hope, in any case.

  6. Education would improve a lot by overturning Griggs v. Duke Power. Not being able to hire on the basis of a high school diploma has made those worthless, and instead bumped the requirements up to the BSc (or higher) level. Not coincidentally, the cost of a BSc or BA has skyrocketed, while the actual qualifications implied by these degrees has dropped below that of a high school diploma circa 1970.

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