professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Get Yer Licenses Here! Fresh Hot Licenses!

In response to a teacher shortage (or at least that is how the story is told), Utah can now hire folks without teaching credentials. Here is a link to one of the stories about this:

So, someone with a bachelor's degree who can pass a content area test (I would love to see those tests myself) can be approved to be placed in a classroom. Here is part of the rationale: "Traditionally, deans of colleges of education have been the "gatekeepers" of the teaching profession... The new rule enhances local control by placing that authority in the hands of superintendents and directors of charter schools. They can determine what the pedagogical skills are and how those skills are obtained rather than the college deans."

This, of course, shows a tremendous lack of understanding of how pedagogy is determined. Deans are not gatekeepers. But it appears that state legislators want that role for themselves. Classroom management, content mastery, understanding of how children and teens actually learn: these are not things meant to keep folks from becoming teachers. Instead, these are the skills and the knowledge and the pedagogy to ensure excellence in teaching. And some of these are immutable. A knowledge of how kids grow and develop is key: Piaget, Maslow, Kohlberg, Ericsson, and others are not simply theorists that might be nice to know. They offer insight into the classroom and the student.

We do not teach content; we teach children. This is a mantra that officials who think they know better how to educate kids should repeat over and over and over again. And they should repeat this as THEy are sent into the classrooms to "become" teachers. Let's see how they fare without a decent background(let alone a deep background) in education policy and process and pedagogy.

This is my 41st year of teaching. I am still learning. And I know that teaching is much more than state legislators make it out to be when they reduce certification to these requirements. Who gets hurt here? Not colleges or deans/ The kids are the ones that will suffer. And there is much research out there to prove it.
Tags: certification
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