How To Train Teachers


This is the sequel to a post you’ll find here, which was a response to a blog post by Cristina Evans Duncan that you’ll find here.

So if education majors are currently “too easy” or “not useful,” then what can we put in their place? I have some ideas, and most of them are based on how I myself was trained. I’ve talked about this program here and there around the blog, but today I’m going to focus directly on it in the context of that important question– how should we train teachers?

I will preface this with a huge caveat– this is all about training secondary teachers. I’m pretty sure elementary teaching has a different set of requirements.

Undergrad studies

I attended Allegheny College in Meadville, PA, a small liberal arts college with a serious split personality– dedicated to the liberal arts, and yet primarily adept at churning out pre-law and pre-med majors.

I went to Allegheny so I could become an English teacher. But I was not an education major because there was no such thing. My major (and my degree) were English. I studied exactly the same range of classes that any English major did, but my coursework included a couple of English courses designed for future teachers. Additionally and unofficially, several of my professors, knowing that I was a future teacher (did I mention that it’s a small school) hooked me up with projects and independent studies that put me in local high school classrooms.

This was part of Allegheny’s basic philosophy– Step One in being a good classroom teacher is knowing what the hell you’re talking about when you teach.  Read more>>