The prompt came from a post at the Althouse blog, which has received even more attention than usual the past month or so, thanks to Althouse and husband Meade's coverage of the people protesting Wisconsin's union-weakening legislation in their town of Madison. The paragraphs that caught my attention were these two, from commenter JorgXMcKie:
While there are many very good students in the College of Ed, on average they are in the bottom 1/3 of ACT scores, but the overall college GPA is probably the highest in the University. So, probably they're not the sharpest knives in the drawer, but they do have really high self-esteem.And this was my response:
Most of them don't really learn a subject, they learn how to 'educate'. They learn how to make the all-important lesson plans. They learn that no one outside the Education Establishment knows anything about education. They learn that they deserve to be highly compensated whether or not their students learn anything.
I have long believed that nobody should be allowed to major in education, which should instead be a minor, studied in combination with a major in one's chosen teaching area. It doesn't matter how much somebody knows of teaching techniques and the miscellaneous psychobabble taught in ed-school if he or she isn't a master of the subject being taught.The comment thread is still going as we speak, and nobody's said anything to directly contradict me. But feel free to start your own thread here.
As a (non-unionized) teacher, I've always believed that the best among us combine the skills of a master with the heart of a servant. Union membership, with its me-first attitude, tends to deemphasize the former and make the latter nearly impossible.