Forgotten Heroes of American Education

George Will’s recent call for the abolition of teacher education programs stirred up all the old debates.

Who will teach, and how will they be prepared? This really is one of a handful of fundamental questions America should seriously wrestle with. It’s important enough that we should be drawing on the riches of our cultural heritage, reading thoughtful books from the past. What we lack is not new ideas so much as wisdom. 

You’ve probably noticed that relatively little that is said today about “teaching” has much to do with teaching. Much of it has to do with how we might re-shape or interact with the bureaucracies we’ve built. It’s easy to be completely absorbed in the present, trying to untangle knots we ourselves have made.

We see flyers for workshops that will show us how to comply with Special Education law or No Child Left Behind requirements. We read about legal strategies to force legislatures to dance to tunes ordered by courts. Articles about new schedules or new team organizations land on our desks. Noisy debates about charter school effects on this or that population jostle for attention. We get caught in arguments about merit pay or vouchers.

Much of it is necessary, but little of it is essential.

What is essential?

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Posted by Michael L Umphrey on 01/13 at 06:07 AM
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