Tuesday, January 18, 2005
There will always be gatekeeping standards for entrance into teaching, of course. I just seem to differ with Scott on the degree to which those credentials really correspond to excellence in teaching. Too often, when educational establishments want to "reform" or "make the field more professional" they simply add another layer of time consuming but low quality credentials. This often has the effect of actually lessening the quality of the talent pool available to principals when they hire (smart people don't want their time wasted). Currently, in Taiwan, cram schools of the finer sort are insisting that their staff be accredited to teach in their home countries. It is almost unheard of to hear challenged the assumption that these teachers would be better. Try explaining to them that at my high school the bright kids did not go to teacher's colleges. Try explaining that the accreditation process tends to actually attract a slower kind of high school graduate. My family paid tuition to go to Catholic schools (where many teachers only had a BA), because the education was better. Have credentials err on the lower side,I say; let the pool of candidates be larger, and allow principals to use their judgement in hiring and firing.