Academic freedom only works if a field is willing to police itself on what constitutes acceptable content, which has yet to occur in the field of teacher education. Further, though case law surrounding academic freedom issues has clearly established that higher-education leadership can still require a professor to teach certain topics, overly expansive faculty contracts have led to a different outcome. Most faculty contracts contain language modeled on the American Association of University Professors’ (AAUP) Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure. Contractual promises are legally binding, and AAUP’s policy on academic freedom holds that professors should have complete freedom to teach any topic, other than those that “suggest disciplinary incompetence.” Ideas are wrong only if they are rejected by an academic field, not if they lack experimental support. In other words, unless a faculty were to meet and decide what topics can or cannot be taught, individual professors are left to teach what they want.
Nowhere is the chasm between the two visions of teacher education—training versus formation—clearer than in the demise of the traditional methods course. The public, and policymakers who require such courses in regulations governing teacher education, may assume that when a teacher takes a methods course, it is to learn the best methods for teaching certain subject matter. That view, we are told in the AERA volume, is for the most part an anachronism. The current view, state professors Renee T. Clift and Patricia Brady, is that “A methods course is seldom defined as a class that transmits information about methods of instruction and ends with a final exam. [They] are seen as complex sites in which instructors work simultaneously with prospective teachers on beliefs, teaching practices and creation of identities—their students’ and their own.”
Rather let us have men whose manhood is onlythe continuation of their boyhood, natural characters still; such are ableand fertile for heroic action; and not that sad spectacle with which weare too familiar, educated eyes in uneducated bodies.
• Align teacher supply with what schools actually need. Programs routinely produce twice as many elementary teachers as will be hired. States should cap the number of licenses in areas of oversupply and lower tuition for high-need areas such as special education and STEM fields.
• Classroom management. Experience isn’t the only way to acquire classroom management skills; there are specific skills and techniques that can be taught and practiced to mastery. Behaviorists have contributed much of this research, but most of teacher education holds this body of work in disdain. The result is that teacher candidates are deprived of useful knowledge such as the clear principle that students need to hear a lot more praise than criticism if we are to maximize their engagement. Us eful guidance can also be gleaned from the practices of effective teachers, for example, the 49 techniques recently set down by Doug Lemov in Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques That Put Students on the Path to College, a book that serves as the antithesis of what most institutions espouse.
The students in classroom A have been taught self discipline, where the students in classroom B, have some self discipline (being quite) but not the self discipline to be actively engaged in their school work.
Discipline is an ever increasing problem in modern schools. Some people think that discipline should be the responsibility of teachers, while others think that this is the role of parents.
Dorothy Sayers, in her well-known essay, "The Lost Tools of Learning" attempted to answer these questions and in so doing gave us some very sage advice for education in our own day. She began by investigating the medieval model of education and found that it was composed of two parts; the first was called the Trivium and the second, the Quadrivium .
For almost as long as there have been institutions dedicated to the preparation of new teachers, the endeavor has come in for criticism. Teacher education has long struggled both to professionalize and to fully integrate itself into mainstream academia. At the core of this struggle was a perception that there was no body of specialized knowledge for teaching that justified specialized training.
Therefore, a well-equipped teacher should have adequate knowledge in classroom management and understand different approaches in solving discipline problems....
“Beginning teachers deal with room discipline, motivating students, accommodating differences among students, evaluating students work, dealing with parents as the most serious challenges, and classroom management or maintaining classroom discipline” (Education, 2001, p.8).
Almost all teacher educators acknowledge that the field has deep problems, but their concern has seldom been about the issues raised by external critics such as lack of selectivity, an imbalance between content and pedagogy, or the lack of value delivered. These differences aren’t always recognized because the insider critiques often sound a lot like the external critiques. In reality, insiders are more concerned about the chaos in the field.
The third period Sayer mentions is that of Rhetoric (ages 14-16). During this period the child moves from merely grasping the logical sequence of arguments to learning how to present them in an persuasive, aesthetically pleasing form. Dorothy Sayers also calls this period the Poetic Age, because during this period the student is to develop the skill of organizing the information he has learned into a well reasoned format that will be both pleasing as well as logical. During this period the student can begin to specialize in particular areas of interest and is equipped to move on to the Quadrivium, which involves specialization in particular areas of study. At this time, students that are more inclined towards either mathematics and science or literature and the humanities can pursue the area of their natural abilities. The pursuit of particular subjects is appropriate at this point because they have been given the tools of learning that are necessary for the study of any subject. By this stage, a student who had been given a classical education would have the thinking skills and mental discipline that are necessary to tackle the difficulties associated with most any area of study.
In modern education, we have put the proverbial cart before the horse by expecting students to master a great number of subjects before they have mastered the tools of learning. Even though the study of language and logic may seem dull in themselves, they are the tools that one needs to develop to be able to approach the task of mastering any particular subject whether it be Scottish political history or carburetor maintenance. Sayers ends her essay with this line, "The sole true end of education is simply this; to teach men how to learn for themselves; and whatever instruction fails to do this is effort spent in vain."