Grrrr, nutty education professors!!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by kinderkids, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    I'm feeling bad for my daughter. She is in her final year at University and keeps coming home to discuss with me the frustrations she is having with her profs!! I really think common sense has flown the coop, and all she is getting are kooky ideas and rhetoric from people who have never set foot in a classroom, and if they have it hasn't been for a very VERY long time.

    It makes me angry to think that she, along with all her fellow students are getting told things that are just so impractical and nonsensical and made to sound as fact. I keep telling her teaching is about using common sense, go with your gut. I wish her profs would spend more time dealing with that vs. spewing the latest theories and "ideas" that most of us who have been in the trenches know are neither practical nor usable. :dizzy::crosseyed
     
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  3. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    What did they tell her?
    Rebe1l
     
  4. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    Education professors that haven't taught previously? I have yet to meet an education professor that did not have teaching experience (and this is after going through a master's program and being in the midst of my PhD program).
     
  5. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    She has had several that have limited if any classroom experience. Her early childhood supervisor prof had absolutely NO experience in an early childhood classroom. It showed.

    Rebel, it is a wide gamut Nonetheless, I have been teaching for 17 years and the things she is hearing are either so far in left field or not applicable in the day to day procedures in a classroom.
     
  6. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Tell her to pay her dues, listen respectfully because they do hold the red pen, and hurry up and get out of there.
     
  7. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    LOL Hoot!! I'm one step ahead of you :p . She graduates in May!! Obviously it isn't all the profs, she's had some great ones, but its these few that make me go........hmmmmmmmmm.:dizzy:

    I didn't really want to get into specifics here, just wanted a place to go grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
     
  8. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    I am taking some classes right now and am very frustrated with the idealistic, utopian concepts these (mostly) young teachers are being taught is best practice, versus what I know from 15 years of experience is practical, useful and realistic. When I graduated 25+ years ago, I felt the teacher's education was pretty useless. Nothing has changed as far as I can tell. I know there are some good professors out there but many do not have any current experience in schools and times have changed and pressures increased. I think as a nation we really need to look at teacher education.
     
  9. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    Oh wow, yeah.... huge portions of my teacher education program were a joke, or at the very least impractical. I especially loved the discussions on alternative schedules, and how one professor was thrilled with block scheduling and claimed it was going to be a great leap forward for education, with tremendous gains in student learning.

    Whoops. My students can barely focus for 85 minutes on one subject, and almost universally complain about it. Even with a mix of activities, the younger kids get bored with the same subject area for that long. Nevermind the fact that our math and reading scores on state assessments actually DROPPED after implementing the block. Whoops again.

    Or better yet, was the incredibly in depth focus on culturally sensitive teaching, and the struggle for social justice in a course on "Teaching Diverse Learners". That alone was an entire course.... which never once discussed a single actual teaching method.

    These programs need to dial back the theory, philosophy, and other generally useless crap (which can easily mind you, be saved for the graduate level) and focus on preparing teachers with useful strategies and methods for the classroom. My program didn't involve a single classroom management course, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Ugh, I could go on, but alas, I shall stop......
     
  10. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    The Prof was in charge of my minor department taught ONE SOLITARY SEMESTER of High School before deciding to get his Master's and PHD and then taught University.

    One semester is NOT teaching experience. He did not know enough to teach others how to teach - and he eventually became the Dean of the Education department. Scary thought huh?
     
  11. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    You said exactly what I tried to say, only you did it much more eloquently. Thank you. :)
     
  12. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    YES!!!!!!!!:thumb:
     
  13. Ross

    Ross Comrade

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    This semester, my daughter has every professor teaching outside of the course description.

    From the information she is telling me, these professors have lost touch of what their role is as an undergraduate teacher.
     
  14. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    I had little interest in what was taught to me in college-I wanted to get into the classroom and DO! Looking back, I'm really interested in some of the ideas they touched on (touched on being the important part), but I was so not ready to learn them yet. You have to get into the classroom, get your hands dirty, FEEL what it's like to be a teacher before you can even begin to understand some of the philosophies they try to teach before student teaching. One of my profs taught backwards design-I LOVE backwards design, but I couldn't really understand why it was so important until I figured out how kids thought and what the alternative types of assessments were... I feel like you need to get into the classroom much earlier (five years of college and only 1 semester of actual student teaching??), and you should be able to implement the ideas you're learning as you're learning them-no one can truly understand teaching sitting in a lecture hall....
     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think that EVERY education professor and EVERY administrator needs to be in the classroom at least part time.

    In my school, EVERYONE teaches: the President, the Principal, the Deans, the Assistant Principal-- everyone but the cafeteria, custodial and secretarial staffs. It does a great job of keeping them in touch with the realities of the job.
     
  16. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    That is such a shame. I had ONE professor who made all the difference in true pedagogical studies. The class was designed to teach us in the way he wanted us to teach. We saw how engaged we felt in the class and ran with it. He's still happy to take my phone calls and emails when I'm discouraged or need advice five years after the class ended.

    Of course, he is balanced by the professor who drove me to quit the education track in the first place in 1992...
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Wow. I had such an AWESOME experience in my graduate studies at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. They have a Child Development Center onsite which is used as a 'living lab' for grad students. The early childhood program and professors guided and helped shape my classroom philosophies which make me a highly successful professional educator today. Too bad all programs aren't as high-quality and effective in preparing their teaching candidates.
     
  18. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    I have had okay professors. Most have been pretty good... what worries me are the other students in my classes. One thought she was getting her masters (first semester freshmen at a 4 year college), another girl who I peer edited wrote "ain't" in one of her papers at least 50 times, another guy said when talking about children's literature that he hates reading and plans to focus on math in his elementary room, and my personal favorite, when asked why we want to teach, "I can't WAIT to have summers off, and get out of work by 3 EVERYDAY"


    Scary! Sorry for the hijack! I bet despite the bad profs, you daughter will be an amazing teacher.
     
  19. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Sounds like you had a great experience cza. I too feel like a highly successful professional educator and I am a graduate of the same University she is attending. I have no doubt she will also be a highly successful and professional educator as well. :)
     
  20. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    This is interesting to me, because my plan is to be a professor of education. I am working on my PhD right now, while I am still teaching. My rationale for going to school part-time was to make sure I have built enough "street cred." How many years of teaching experience is "enough" for a professor to have (assuming that I would be active in research and in classrooms throughout my professorship)?
     
  21. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Great that she has you to bounce ideas off of.;)
     
  22. deedee

    deedee Connoisseur

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    The some of the best ed classes I had were taught by adjunct teachers. They gave the best real life information and reproducables that we could take and use the next day in the classroom.

    My school gave us many oppertunities to be in the classroom as early as fall term of Freshman year.

    I am finding though that what your profesors LOVED might not be what your principals love ...
     
  23. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    I'm glad to see this thread, because so very, very often, teachers who have "been there" for many years are viewed as old-fashioned and stodgy by these sweet young things who are fresh out of the classroom themselves, those classrooms having been taught by unrealistically idealistic and inexperienced people who claim to be experts. It's only when you've DONE IT that you know. If all someone knows is theories and trends, that person knows nothing.
     
  24. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    Going for your teaching degree is like learning to drive. They can teach u everything for the road test but you don't really start learning to drive until after you passed and actually get out on the road.

    I too had some horrible undergrad teachers, the worse was my math content ones and guess what my math teaching skills suffered becuase I generally suck at math and didnt learn anything from her. My literacy teachers were phenomenal, and I teach Literacy very well becuase of it.

    Looking back though My two semesters of Student Teaching taught me the most in college, I model a lot of my teaching on what i learned from my cooperating teachers, but of course they were pretty fantastic teachers and I got lucky.
     
  25. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    I so agree with the importance of good supervising teachers during student teaching. Mine were HORRIBLE. One said hello, the class is yours, and I never saw her again. The second one never wanted to give me the class and was forced to give me some teaching time the last week or two. My supervising professor hadn't taught in a school in 30 years. It was NOT the best situation.
     
  26. HMM

    HMM Cohort

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    I'm sure this sounds bad, but I have yet to meet an education prof (Ed.D. or Ph.D.) that I thought deserved the title of Dr.
    Quite frankly they never seem to really know anything.

    I also find it funny the education profs 'teach' the students how to teach math, but I've had a couple of these profs in my office asking me freshman/HS level math questions that they were unsure about. It is a complete joke.
     
  27. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    Having graduated 2 years ago, I can tell you that what your daughter is going through isn't that strange. Some of my professors were wonderful, others were a waste of time. (let me add that my school has a wonderful reputation as a teaching school). Teaching is a lot like driving: she'll learn the most when she's actually in a classroom. While I loved my educational philosophy course and professor, in reality the class could have been saved for grad work in order to get something more imminently meaningful, like a class on differentiated instruction (you do get that as an education major, but I was a major in my content area, as were most at my school who were pursuing secondary school teaching). My course on creating assessments spent 50% of the time looking at how to explain standardized test scores to parents - I wanted more time on developing tests, rubrics, and authentic assessments. One of my biggest frustrations was that my school for the teacher cert program had me in classes with elementary ed majors that were geared towards them. As we often say on here, elementary ed and secondary ed are two different beasts. I believe that we should each get courses geared towards the level of teaching we want to pursue. Tell me why, as someone pursuing a secondary school position, did I need to learn ed psych about babies for 2 months? Yet we spent two weeks on teenagers. I loved (sarcasm) the way each professor would drum into our heads about differentiated instruction, but only 1 or 2 actually gave us methods...the others just talked about it, and how important it was. I'll agree that the teacher education system in our country needs to be revamped, and that each education professor should be required to spend time teaching in a classroom relevant to what they are teaching every couple of years. Only then will teacher novices learn what they need to hit the ground running with, and not pedagogical terms and philosophies.
     
  28. Doug_HSTeach_07

    Doug_HSTeach_07 Comrade

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    Thank you so much for the post, and I'm sorry your daughter is experiencing this. I graduated college two years ago and have used very little from what I learned. I have learned most of my classroom strategy "on the fly," as others here have stated. It truly is a hands-on, learn-while-you-go profession.

    I grow so frustrated with these professors, specialists, and strategists who are all too ready to tell you about this new learning strategy. What about courses in...

    - How to keep students engaged?
    - How to effectively manage a classroom?
    - How to deal with parents, students, and teachers?
    - Proper responses to problem situations?
     
  29. HMM

    HMM Cohort

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    Those would be great courses. Unfortunately, I honestly believe that most Ed professors lack the actual classroom experience/knowledge to effectively teach those types of classes
     
  30. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    The driving analogy is excellent.

    When I was getting my first degree, they didn't put us in the classroom until our student teaching. I think that might be why there are so many not-so-good teachers who are over forty; they put in four years and didn't discover until the end of the fourth year that teaching wasn't for them. By that time, they figured it was too late to do anything else. That's just a theory, by the way.

    My supervising teacher was wonderful; it was she who showed me how to teach. The "education" courses at the university were a joke.

    To those doddering old fools, the worst problem we were likely to face was gum and un-tucked shirts. Imagine.

    Kids today would eat those guys alive.
     
  31. momto2zs

    momto2zs Rookie

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    I am student teaching and feel so unprepared. I am doing special education and we only took regular elementary education reading, math (k-3), and science content classes. When I took my math class, all the teacher basically taught about was how worksheets are very bad and you should never ever use them, but when I went out to the classroom to observe thats what the teachers I saw were using. I am placed in a middle school class, which is just language arts and math. I do not feel prepared at all to teach language arts and math. Language arts is a subject I am not very good at.
     
  32. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    I totally agree!!!!!
     
  33. Doug_HSTeach_07

    Doug_HSTeach_07 Comrade

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    I know this sounds horrible, but I am overly skeptical and critical of any educational specialist, professor, adviser, presenter at workshops, etc. telling me about these great new things. To me it seems like Billy Mays or the Sham-WOW! guy. I can't help but ask, "have you actually tried these strategies? How do you know they work?"
     
  34. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Doug that is hilarious!!!!:lol:
     

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