August 04, 2014

Why Schools of Education Are a Waste of Time

I had to slightly shake my head and let out a brief chuckle when I read Joanne Jacobs' post on college schools of education. Titled "Learning to reflect, but not teach," it refers to Boston middle school teacher Peter Sipe's piece in the Boston Herald, and it perfectly encapsulates much of my own experience, both as an undergrad and graduate student.

. . . a professor would speak for a bit on some theoretical matter, then wed break into small groups to discuss it for an extravagantly long time, then wed get back into a big group and share our opinions some more. I remember a class one evening in which you could not speak unless you had been tossed an inflatable ball. My wifes classes did not go like this.

Sipes' wife was in medical school.

Two of the courses I had to take as an undergrad were "Historical Foundations of Education" and "Psychological Foundations of Education." Both were completely useless for what those planning to go into teaching actually need. The former was basically a history course about education in the United States. To be completely honest, watching paint dry would have been more exciting ... not to mention at least as useful.

As an undergrad I also took a course called "Educational Psychology" and later as a graduate a class titled "Psychology of Teaching." Maybe there was a substantive difference between the two, but I certainly don't remember any. I do know that not very much from these courses was actually handy in the classroom.

The absolute worst education-related class I took was "Language Development in the Classroom." To this day I haven't the slightest notion of what this (graduate) class was supposed to be about. Every time we met the prof (a sixty or seventy-something year-old woman who was certainly nice enough) would pretty much ramble about what was on her mind at the time, and then we'd get into groups to discuss ... something.

One time, in one of my grad classes, I sort of attempted to call our professor's bluff. She had asked the class for one-word, yes, reflections about an article we were supposed to have read the previous evening. This wasn't checking our knowledge of the material, you see, but more the prowess of our vocabulary. Many of the terms offered up by my classmates were ridiculously repetitive ("Thoughtful." "Provoking." "Engaging."), but nevertheless the prof excitedly wrote each one down on the chalkboard.

Having had enough, I turned to a teaching colleague of mine who was also a student in the class, and whispered, "Watch this." I then raised my hand. When called upon, I offered the term "good." That's right, just the generically vanilla word "good." The prof repeated "Good!" and enthusiastically put it on the chalkboard.

My colleague couldn't contain her laughter and had to leave the room for a few minutes.

This sort of nonsense is what way too many ed courses include, unfortunately, just as Mr. Sipe notes in his article. And I'd bet good money that most teachers would concur, to a very large degree.

I'd be remiss if I did not mention the courses that were beneficial for educators. The curriculum planning course prior to student teaching was incredibly practical for constructing units, lessons, and activities. (I believe this course was so because the professor was what you might call "old school"). "Measurement Applications in Education," a grad course, taught teachers how to properly create assessments -- even down to how exam questions appeared on the paper.

Once I became an employed educator, the vast majority of what I learned -- and used -- in the classroom was garnered from other, mostly veteran, teachers. If education schools want to be truly practical, keep the courses like those I noted, and cut (or make optional), classes like "Historical Foundations." Expand the time undergrads actually spend in schools observing and teaching with an experienced instructor. (I've learned that in recent years my alma mater has implemented much of that last recommendation; student teachers' time and duties in their placement schools have expanded quite a bit.)

"Learning by doing," the saying goes, right?

(Cross-posted at The College Fix.)

Posted by Hube at August 4, 2014 09:01 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

albuterol hfa,

Posted by: albuterol ipratropium at January 26, 2017 09:21 PM


Posted by: buy ampicillin at January 27, 2017 12:30 AM

triamterene blood pressure,

Posted by: triamterene at January 27, 2017 07:09 PM

buy prednisolone,

Posted by: buy prednisolone 5mg without prescription uk at January 28, 2017 05:11 PM

toradol 60 mg injection,

Posted by: toradol tablets at January 29, 2017 06:22 AM

where can i buy levitra online,

Posted by: best prices on levitra at January 29, 2017 06:48 AM

buy valtrex,

Posted by: valtrex at January 29, 2017 04:19 PM


Posted by: buy eurax at January 30, 2017 04:21 AM

generic for advair diskus,

Posted by: advair price at January 30, 2017 09:21 AM


Posted by: azithromycin at January 30, 2017 05:49 PM


Posted by: acomplia at January 30, 2017 09:57 PM

buy adalat,

Posted by: adalat online at January 31, 2017 09:18 AM


Posted by: toradol 30 mg at January 31, 2017 09:44 AM

clindamycin mg,

Posted by: clindamycin at January 31, 2017 12:04 PM


Posted by: skelaxin at January 31, 2017 12:06 PM

buy colchicine 0.6 mg,

Posted by: buy colchicine 0.6 mg at January 31, 2017 12:39 PM


Posted by: allopurinol no rx at January 31, 2017 06:14 PM

generic celexa,

Posted by: purchase celexa at January 31, 2017 10:29 PM

buy doxycycline 100mg,

Posted by: doxycycline at February 1, 2017 04:08 AM

order clonidine,

Posted by: Clonidine at February 1, 2017 06:52 AM

Suhagra Online,

Posted by: where to buy suhagra at February 1, 2017 08:01 AM


Posted by: bactroban at February 1, 2017 04:04 PM


Posted by: bupropion online at February 1, 2017 05:22 PM

generic valtrex,

Posted by: generic valtrex at February 1, 2017 08:42 PM


Posted by: buy clomiphene citrate online uk at February 2, 2017 05:24 AM


Posted by: robaxin pills at February 2, 2017 01:20 PM

Robaxin Pills,

Posted by: robaxin at February 2, 2017 03:45 PM

purchase doxycycline,

Posted by: doxycycline 100mg capsule at February 2, 2017 05:35 PM

buy sildalis,

Posted by: sildalis tablets at February 2, 2017 06:34 PM

Buy Celebrex,

Posted by: buy celebrex at February 2, 2017 10:17 PM

acyclovir pills,

Posted by: acyclovir at February 2, 2017 10:44 PM

Buy Rimonabant,

Posted by: Rimonabant Price at February 3, 2017 12:01 AM


Posted by: atenolol medicine at February 3, 2017 12:30 AM

augmentin online,

Posted by: augmentin without a prescription at February 3, 2017 12:56 AM


Posted by: where can i buy ampicillin at February 3, 2017 01:08 AM

betapace af,

Posted by: betapace at February 3, 2017 01:18 AM


Posted by: zithromax online at February 3, 2017 02:39 AM


Posted by: antabuse online at February 3, 2017 03:57 AM

Cialis Online,

Posted by: buy cialis at February 3, 2017 07:01 AM

buy effexor,

Posted by: effexor 37.5 mg at February 3, 2017 10:54 AM

amoxicillin 500 mg,

Posted by: amoxicillin 500 mg for sale at February 3, 2017 05:19 PM


Posted by: arimidex estrogen blocker at February 3, 2017 05:59 PM

bupropion xl 150 mg,

Posted by: bupropion at February 3, 2017 08:44 PM

buy zofran,

Posted by: order zofran at February 4, 2017 12:02 AM

as an example,

Posted by: ampicillin at February 4, 2017 02:04 AM


Posted by: buy ampicillin at February 4, 2017 03:30 AM

buy baclofen,

Posted by: where to buy baclofen at February 4, 2017 05:04 AM

buy diclofenac,

Posted by: buy diclofenac at February 4, 2017 05:40 AM

buy flagyl,

Posted by: flagyl 400 mg at February 4, 2017 06:58 AM

chloromycetin without prescription,

Posted by: chloromycetin at February 4, 2017 07:50 AM

cheapest cialis,

Posted by: cialis for daily use at February 4, 2017 07:59 AM


Posted by: atarax at February 5, 2017 09:46 AM


Posted by: purim at February 5, 2017 08:35 PM

amoxil online,

Posted by: amoxil online at February 5, 2017 09:01 PM

buy amoxil,

Posted by: amoxil generic at February 5, 2017 09:10 PM

methotrexate price,

Posted by: buy methotrexate at February 6, 2017 12:30 AM


Posted by: buy albenza at February 6, 2017 06:18 AM

atenolol metoprolol,

Posted by: atenolol 50mg at February 6, 2017 06:28 AM

amitriptyline medicine,

Posted by: amitriptyline at February 6, 2017 09:38 AM

viagra without prescription,

Posted by: VIAGRA PHARMACY at February 6, 2017 10:23 AM

acyclovir cream,

Posted by: acyclovir cream price at February 6, 2017 02:11 PM

buy antabuse online,

Posted by: antabuse at February 6, 2017 04:02 PM

tadacip 20 mg,

Posted by: buy tadacip at February 6, 2017 06:53 PM

betnovate online,

Posted by: cheapest betnovate at February 6, 2017 08:32 PM

generic amoxicillin,

Posted by: amoxicillin at February 6, 2017 10:30 PM


Posted by: Baclofen at February 7, 2017 03:16 AM


Posted by: Biaxin at February 7, 2017 04:51 AM


Posted by: buy propranolol at February 7, 2017 06:48 AM

Buy Erythromycin,

Posted by: erythromycin at February 7, 2017 07:14 PM

zofran over the counter,

Posted by: order zofran at February 7, 2017 10:56 PM

levitra online,

Posted by: levitra from india at February 8, 2017 01:21 AM


Posted by: proscar at February 8, 2017 05:12 AM

cheap amoxil,

Posted by: buy amoxil at February 8, 2017 09:13 AM


Posted by: atarax at February 8, 2017 09:49 AM

Toradol Online,

Posted by: toradol online at February 8, 2017 12:03 PM

amoxicillin 500,

Posted by: amoxicillin at February 8, 2017 02:03 PM

cheap bupropion,

Posted by: buy bupropion at February 8, 2017 03:43 PM


Posted by: Female Viagra at February 9, 2017 06:41 AM


Posted by: nizoral at February 9, 2017 03:33 PM

Wellbutrin XL,

Posted by: wellbutrin xl at February 9, 2017 07:50 PM

cheap tretinoin,

Posted by: tretinoin at February 9, 2017 11:17 PM

ciprofloxacin 500 mg,

Posted by: cipro at February 10, 2017 04:35 AM


Posted by: compazine at February 10, 2017 05:02 AM


Posted by: anafranil online at February 10, 2017 08:04 AM

tetracycline purchase,

Posted by: tetracycline at February 10, 2017 12:22 PM


Posted by: Tamoxifen Citrate at February 10, 2017 01:32 PM

phenergan visa,

Posted by: Phenergan Mastercard at February 10, 2017 01:57 PM

Neurontin Tabs,

Posted by: neurontin at February 10, 2017 05:40 PM

torsemide diuretic,

Posted by: torsemide at February 10, 2017 09:42 PM

buy trecator,

Posted by: trecator at February 11, 2017 04:38 AM

cialis daily,

Posted by: cialis men at February 11, 2017 05:47 AM

cheap levitra online,

Posted by: levetra at February 11, 2017 10:54 AM

zestoretic pills,

Posted by: zestoretic online at February 11, 2017 01:10 PM


Posted by: generic aygestin at February 11, 2017 09:06 PM

Cheap Prazosin,

Posted by: Prazosin at February 11, 2017 10:49 PM


Posted by: elocon ointment for sale at February 12, 2017 03:26 AM


Posted by: lasix at February 12, 2017 03:26 AM


Posted by: generic ilosone at February 12, 2017 12:40 PM


Posted by: methotrexate at February 13, 2017 01:12 AM

clomid pills for sale,

Posted by: clomid at February 13, 2017 01:51 AM

recommended site,

Posted by: viagra at February 13, 2017 03:06 AM

rogaine sale,

Posted by: rogaine sale at February 13, 2017 06:02 PM

tretinoin cream,

Posted by: tretinoin cream at February 13, 2017 09:05 PM


Posted by: buy cialis at February 13, 2017 09:14 PM

cytotec buy online usa,

Posted by: cytotec at February 14, 2017 11:09 AM

hctz hydrochlorothiazide,

Posted by: hydrochlorothiazide losartan at February 14, 2017 11:35 AM

quibron-t online,

Posted by: generic quibron-t at February 14, 2017 11:40 PM

albenza costs,

Posted by: albendazole at February 15, 2017 02:52 AM

tadacip cipla,

Posted by: buy tadacip online at February 15, 2017 07:35 AM

canadian pharmacy online viagra,

Posted by: online canadian pharmacy viagra at February 15, 2017 04:09 PM

benicar 20 mg cost,

Posted by: benicar 20 mg at February 15, 2017 11:02 PM

advair hfa inhaler,

Posted by: advair at February 16, 2017 03:28 AM


Posted by: prednisolone at February 16, 2017 03:29 AM

retin a no prescription,

Posted by: .05% generic retin a without a prescription at February 16, 2017 07:23 AM


Posted by: baclofen prescription at February 16, 2017 03:20 PM

buy lasix on line,

Posted by: where to buy lasix water pill at February 16, 2017 05:01 PM

indocin generic,

Posted by: indocin generic at February 17, 2017 03:09 AM

diclofenac gel,

Posted by: diclofenac gel 1 at February 17, 2017 06:50 AM


Posted by: roxithromycin at February 17, 2017 07:06 AM

generic moduretic,

Posted by: moduretic without prescription at February 17, 2017 08:56 AM

proventil hfa 90 mcg inhaler,

Posted by: generic ventolin inhaler at February 17, 2017 12:36 PM


Posted by: viagra at February 17, 2017 01:20 PM

abilify online,

Posted by: buy abilify at February 17, 2017 01:38 PM

buy generic nolvadex,

Posted by: nolvadex at February 17, 2017 02:23 PM

triamterene hctz 75-50 mg tab,

Posted by: triamterene 37.5mg hctz 25mg caps at February 17, 2017 04:21 PM


Posted by: citalopram brand name at February 17, 2017 05:59 PM


Posted by: learn more here at February 18, 2017 01:29 AM


Posted by: torsemide at February 18, 2017 03:23 AM

tretinoin cream,

Posted by: tretinoin cream at February 18, 2017 09:21 AM


Posted by: generic wellbutrin price at February 18, 2017 07:32 PM

elimite cream,

Posted by: elimite at February 19, 2017 12:53 AM


Posted by: trazodone at February 19, 2017 01:24 PM


Posted by: hydrochlorothiazide at February 19, 2017 04:37 PM


Posted by: motilium at February 19, 2017 05:28 PM

canadian pharmacy cialis,

Posted by: cialis at February 19, 2017 07:02 PM

bentyl 20 mg price,

Posted by: bentyl for pain at February 20, 2017 12:12 AM

glucophage online,

Posted by: glucophage online at February 20, 2017 01:04 AM

baclofen pill,

Posted by: baclofen at February 20, 2017 02:38 AM


Posted by: inderal la at February 20, 2017 10:44 AM

buy methotrexate,

Posted by: methotrexate at February 20, 2017 11:02 AM

tentex royal,

Posted by: generic tentex royal at February 20, 2017 11:27 AM


Posted by: benicar at February 20, 2017 01:37 PM


Posted by: triphala at February 20, 2017 07:16 PM


Posted by: trazodone 50 mg at February 21, 2017 05:39 AM

What is a canadian pharmacies as well as what can this do for canada drugs online males? It is actually a muscle CanadianEDrugStore.Com Canadian Pharcharmy Online relaxant as well as a blood stream cialis online canada stimulator for males which experience impotences, many often called impotency. This is actually a condition whereby blood in the penis is actually certainly not sufficient to create construction even when the guy is intimately induced.

Posted by: buy drugs india at February 26, 2017 09:14 PM

800 mg skelaxin,

Posted by: skelaxin at February 28, 2017 10:18 AM

innopran xl,

Posted by: innopran xl at February 28, 2017 12:24 PM

tadacip 20,

Posted by: tadacip at February 28, 2017 01:08 PM

cheap cafergot,

Posted by: cafergot at February 28, 2017 03:18 PM

levitra pills,

Posted by: levitra at February 28, 2017 03:51 PM

tamoxifen 20 mg,

Posted by: buy tamoxifen at February 28, 2017 10:10 PM


Posted by: indocin at March 1, 2017 12:22 AM

effexor generic,

Posted by: effexor at March 1, 2017 12:30 AM


Posted by: for more info at March 1, 2017 12:54 AM


Posted by: viagra at March 1, 2017 01:58 AM


Posted by: confido at March 1, 2017 03:41 AM


Posted by: nolvadex at March 1, 2017 04:00 AM

buy cipro online canada,

Posted by: cipro at March 1, 2017 08:54 AM

buy robaxin,

Posted by: robaxin for back pain at March 1, 2017 06:21 PM

Post a comment

Remember personal info?