Teachers – Will We Ever Learn? – J. Metha

Metha, Jal.  “Teachers – Will We Ever Learn.”  OP-ED.  New York Times.  April 12, 2013.  Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/13/opinion/teachers-will-we-ever-learn.html?_r=0

In this OP-ED piece the author compares teaching to other professions which requires a similar educational background and also the American educational system to that of other high-achieving countries.

HERE’S what the old debates have overlooked: How schools are organized, and what happens in classrooms, hasn’t changed much in the century since the Progressive Era. On the whole, we still have the same teachers, in the same roles, with the same level of knowledge, in the same schools, with the same materials, and much the same level of parental support…

Teaching requires a professional model, like we have in medicine, law, engineering, accounting, architecture and many other fields. In these professions, consistency of quality is created less by holding individual practitioners accountable and more by building a body of knowledge, carefully training people in that knowledge, requiring them to show expertise before they become licensed, and then using their professions’ standards to guide their work.


Teachers in leading nations’ schools also teach much less than ours do. High school teachers provide 1,080 hours per year of instruction in America, compared with fewer than 600 in South Korea and Japan, where the balance of teachers’ time is spent collaboratively on developing and refining lesson plans.


Anthony S. Bryk, president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, has estimated that other fields spend 5 percent to 15 percent of their budgets on research and development, while in education, it is around 0.25 percent.


About dublinea
President - Dublin Educators' Association

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