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Teacher Education Needs Substantial Time in the Classroom

Since teachers' colleges became universities, the amount of prac. time in the classroom

for teachers in training has diminished considerably!

As a Catholic school teacher of 40 years this year, allow me to offer some suggestions. I have taught all levels from years 1 to 12, 30 years teaching years 11 and 12. Also have been a primary school principal in two schools + assistant principal in a secondary school, along with ten years as head of years 11-12.

My original training at a Catholic teachers' college consisted of about six months over three years in the classroom, observing, team-teaching and teaching. We also did numerous 'method' subjects whereby we were shown and practised how to teach each subject, e.g. Mathematics Method.

I also note that we primary trained teachers were far better prepared than our secondary colleagues from state government based training colleges. The secondary training emphasis on content as opposed to classroom teaching was their downfall. Teaching skills were minimal for secondary teachers. This is now the case for all teachers.

I wonder how many of the 'experts' who are 'fine tuning the guidelines' are actual classroom teachers? Haven't we learnt yet that the universities and academia hadn't understood the possible solutions? Obviously, their research is limited in its approach as the outcomes don't match known reality.

Who would be best to offer solutions than the teaching profession, especially the experienced who know the alternatives? Those doing the day-to-day classroom teaching, behaviour management, assessment, etc.? Or those who haven’t taught for years or who have never taught in schools? With the utmost respect, most teachers would see most university lecturers as a case of those who can’t teach, lecture.

As an experienced teacher, I would be very willing to assist. Have I been asked?

Obviously, not.

© Copyright 2017 Bryan W Foster

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