Should it be mandatory to get a teaching degree to teach?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by ecteach, Mar 1, 2013.

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  1. Jeky

    Jeky Comrade

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    Mar 2, 2013

    Not necessarily true....
    I graduated with my BA in Psychology from UCSD......I minored in Education as TG mentioned (mainly observation/mentoring hours), and as a result was able to enroll in their graduate program, where I received both my credential AND my Masters Degree in one year. I know programs like those are few and far between, but they are out there....
     
  2. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I think there is a big difference between grad programs that require people to do long term student teaching and practicums and situations like the OP mentioned where you can take 6 classes while you're already teaching- almost like a TFA type program. I think that I have some innate qualities that make me a good teacher. My parents are teachers too and we joke that it just runs in the family. However, I can't imagine actually teaching my own class after doing just a few classes or in something like TFA, only a few weeks of training. My university required several practicums and a year of student teaching and I do think that better prepared me for my first year. I also feel like I continue to learn new things/get better each year.
     
  3. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I think there is a big difference between elementary and secondary schools in this regard.

    frankly, I am more shocked that a high school teacher can teach core subjects without having degrees in those subjects.

    If my vote counted, I would have elementary teachers get education degrees, high school teachers get degrees then certification and not sure where middle school teachers would fall.
     
  4. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Mar 3, 2013

    I agree with this as well.

    Teachers are born to be teachers, but it doesn't stop there. You have to put in a lot of hard work and effort to become better (for instance- looking for help on this board or other forums). And that's a trait good teachers possess as well.

    I feel like a good analogy is an Olympic athlete. I will never become an Olympian, why? I just wasn't born to be an athlete. My body type is wrong and I also lack the drive to become the best in the world. An athlete is born, but if they don't put in any work they'll never become the best. Sort of like teachers.
     
  5. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Mar 3, 2013

    I have an elementary degree, a minor in English, a minor in Social Sciences, and am National Certified in early childhood. I have no problem with alternative Ed people, but in my state you are not required to take any type of education classes or pd, just pass a test.
     
  6. TeachTN

    TeachTN Comrade

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    I believe certification should be in hand before stepping into the classroom. The only exception would be is if you absolutely cannot find anyone qualified for that subject, which occurs in my area in subjects like higher Math, Physics, and Chemistry. No one should be allowed to enter a classroom without a license in a 'glut' area like English, Social Studies, or Elementary when there are so many qualified candidates available with licenses in hand.
     
  7. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I will say that the courses I took were neither easy nor few. I took course hours equivalent to that of a Master's degree, but "only" received my certification. And honestly, most of my courses taught me very little about real-world teaching. I learned more from being the leader of a Girl Scout troop of thirty little angels than I did in the college classroom.
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I'm not sure that I learned a lot about how to teach in my education classes, but I did learn a lot of other things. I had a number of classes on special education, multicultural education, curriculum and instruction, the history of education, adolescent development--all of which helped me understand why one approach might work while another does not. This sort of theoretical knowledge is obviously not the same as practical knowledge, but that doesn't make it meaningless.
     
  9. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I didn't know California's certification system was classified as alternative.

    It makes it even more confusing that California itself has an alternative credentialing program for some districts called the District Intern Program in which you don't even need to go through the post-bacc year to get your credential. They have one in LAUSD, however I have heard terrible things from my friend who works in a school at LAUSD.
     
  10. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Mar 4, 2013

    I do not think the California Credential is considered alternative. It would be alternative maybe in other states. But here it is the teaching credential. Alternative is when a teacher begins teaching as an intern with no or almost no classes about teaching yet and goes to classes while running their own classroom here.
     
  11. bbcbbc

    bbcbbc Rookie

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    May 10, 2013

    Teacher Performance Assessments

    Hello all!

    California has a requirement for potential teachers, and this requirement is called Teacher Performance Assessments, also known as "TPA's."

    When I was in an education program, I quickly realized that this requirement does not make a person a better teacher. It is just a time consuming task that a potential teacher must complete in order to earn a teaching credential in California.

    It does not make a person a better teacher because it is a purely subjective assessment. For example, I received a "2" from one TPA evaluator (i.e., a professor) and a "3" from the other TPA evaluator. There are two evaluators for each of the four (4) TPA's that a potential teacher must complete.

    My score of "2" was considered insufficient, and my score of "3" was considered sufficient. Okay, so... one evaluator thought that I passed and the other evaluator thought that I did not... hmm... subjectivity, for sure!

    I had to redo TPA #1, in which I then received a "4," which is the highest passing score. However, it was a waste of my time. I could have been learning more valuable teaching techniques.

    Furthermore, I learned more in my student observation classes than I did writing TPA's.

    Finally, to illustrate how ridiculous TPA's are... for TPA #3, I made up my two focus students and my professor read my weekly TPA assignments and said that I did really well!

    I made up my two focus students based on my observations of students in my student observation classes and my reading of teaching techniques in my textbooks. I made up the students because of my "relationship" with my master teacher at the time.

    Basically, if the state of California wants to have good teachers, then it should abolish TPA's and go to a more objective assessment of what a potential teacher should or should not know...

    Thank you!
     
  12. teach42

    teach42 Comrade

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    May 10, 2013

    If I had a choice between a teacher with a degree in their content area as opposed to an education degree, I would choose the former. I'd rather my teacher actually know the subject they are teaching. Too many teachers don't these days and it's a shame. Education degrees are a piece of cake so I don't really see what you had to struggle with in order to get it. I'm sure what they majored in was harder than what you had to struggle with to get your education degree. I'm sure I'll be blasted for this post but just my opinion.
     
  13. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    May 10, 2013

    I think content knowledge is certainly very valuable and I might even put a premium on it if I had to choose, but I do wish some teachers had a little more pedagogy and especially some understanding of child and adolescent development. I see a lot of topics in here that make me wonder sometimes if there needs to be more beefing up in these areas. I also think there needs to be more special education training for general education teachers.
     
  14. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    May 10, 2013

    I find the debate a little odd, as we are required to have both in Canada. I think both are important.
     
  15. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    May 10, 2013

    My degree was in History Education. To be honest it was all history and very little education. I took 2 classes about teaching during college(apart from student teaching). One class was on early childhood development, useless since I'm teaching high school and the other was about special education students(great class learned a lot).

    I learned nothing about planning, classroom management, ect until I got into the classroom for student teaching. It was very sink or swim for most of the students who went through the same program I did. I certainly did wish I had been required to learn more about teaching before I actually did it. Luckily my collaborating teacher was GREAT. He had been teaching at the same school for 39 years and was still excited to come to school every day. I had a blast and I'm still friends with him today. I learned more from him in 6 months than my other 3 1/2 years in college.
     
  16. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    May 10, 2013

    It bothers me too. But I think it's one thing when people use it as a way to enter the teaching field. It's a completely other thing when college kids get into programs like Teach for America in order to teach for 2 years and have a good experience to put on their law school applications. It's one thing when someone genuinely has good intentions and wants to become a good teacher. It's a million times worse when someone is using teaching as if it's a charity project.

    This is obviously a huge joke because it's from the Onion and I'm trying to offend anyone but my teacher friends and I got a huge laugh over it:
    http://www.theonion.com/articles/my-year-volunteering-as-a-teacher-helped-educate-a,28803/
     
  17. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    May 10, 2013

    That's great for high school and college. I think elementary education is a whole other story. What do English majors or Math majors learn about managing a classroom or teaching children to read? If I had children there's no way I'd want my 2nd grade special ed. student in a class with someone who went through a 6 week program.
     
  18. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    May 10, 2013

    Iteachbx, that was an excellent article! I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry at it though...
     
  19. thewife

    thewife Rookie

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    May 10, 2013

    I have a A.A.S in Early Childhood ed. and returned to get a B.S in Mass Communication Video Production. After struggling to find a job in Mass Comm. I decided to work with children again, and worked for the Parents As Teachers progam. AFter 4 years and budget cuts I decided to return to school to get my teacher certification. Before I made any final decisions, I called my local small town school district and was advised that they do not hire teachers with alternative certification, because basically they don't have to because there are so many qualified teachers that recieved their degree traditionally.

    So, I decided to return to college to get my certification, the program I went through took me 1 1/2 years. It may have taken longer, but I already had a 2 year degree in Early Childhood and was getting certification in Elementary. It is frustrating to not be able to find a job right now. But at least I know I worked and earned my certification. I did not get a second Bachelors degree, that would have required a few more classes that had nothing to do with education and it was not necessary for my certification. Someone else that I know recieved their certification by going through a Masters Program for 2 years and she has a business degree. She is farther ahead than me as far as education, but I probably have more credits hours. I wish I had known that before and maybe I could have gone that route.

    To wrap it up, I live in Missouri and I don't think that alternative certification is available for elementary, only secondary education. I also thought that teachers were people who knew that they wanted to become teachers, but later found out that some people just choose education because they are not sure what else to do or they want the summers off or whatever. I found this to be surprising. I waited to get my certification until I knew it was what I wanted to do. And I learned so much more from my 100 hours of observation and student teaching than from just sitting in the classroom...
     
  20. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    May 10, 2013

    6 classes would be 18 hours right? That's only 12-15 less than required for majors (at the bachelor's level) in Education at most universities. Do you really think the additional 4-5 classes makes one person a more effective teacher than another? There are plenty of people out there who have tons of education but are not effective teachers.

    I got my B.A. in History, went back for a graduate certificate in Middle Grades Social Studies by taking 18 hours worth of GRADUATE-level classes and am now in the Master of Arts in Teaching--when I'm done I will have close to 40 semester hours in education--at the graduate level. I have a 4.00 in all my education courses, took a semester long teaching course, and was so highly recommended by my CT and VP that I had a job offer at the school before I graduated with my grad certificate, but right now do not have as many hours in education as a someone with a bachelor's in education. I've been told by the admin that I'm better than most of the veteran teachers. The middle school I teach at is one of the best in eastern North Carolina in a district where the majority of our schools are high-performing.

    I'm not all that familiar with the lateral entry stuff in NC because I was not a lateral entry teacher. I believe they take their courses concurrent with their teaching??? I honestly do not have a problem with it--they will be subject to the same evaluation process as the rest of us and subject to the same professional development, CEUs etc. as the rest of us as well. Most of them are probably at schools in desperate need of teachers--inner city schools, and if they aren't cut out for teaching, they won't be in the schools very long anyways.
     
  21. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    May 10, 2013

    I have a BA in English.

    I started teaching with zero background in education.

    I did not do a alternative certification. I took BA level classes online and at night until I had the required classes for professional certification.

    Looking back on it, I would never in a million years advise anyone to take the route I did.

    But I find a lot of value in having a degree in my subject area rather than in education. But then again - just as I've grown in my pedagogy, I'm sure I would have grown in subject matter, as well.

    And I have to be completely honest - it's a bit tiring to have it hinted that people without an education degree are somehow less of a teacher or less passionate about teaching than those with an education degree (not necessarily this particular thread. But this topic does come up from time to time on the board).
     
  22. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    May 10, 2013

    Yes, teachers should have at least a BA in education or a postbacc. degree. I have seen teachers aides and volunteers try so hard to teach who do not have BA degrees. They just don't do nearly as well. Educating teachers less won't help.
     
  23. bbcbbc

    bbcbbc Rookie

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    May 11, 2013

    In California, a potential teacher must have a teaching credential in order to teach, and one of the requirements for the teaching credential is the Teacher Performance Assessment, which, in my opinion, is "a big waste of time."

    As I stated earlier, I received a non-passing score of "2" from one evaluator (i.e., a professor) and a passing score of "3" from the other evaluator (i.e., another professor). Thus, I was required to redo TPA #1, which I did, and I received a passing score of "4." This was "a big waste of my time" because it did not make me "a better teacher."

    As I previously mentioned, I "made up" part of my TPA #3 based on my observations of students in my student observation classes and my reading of my education textbooks. Additionally, I also used information that I saw in "cum files" from my student observation time. Then, I "weaved everything together" by using creative writing.

    The reason that I had to "make up" my TPA #3 was because of my "relationship" with my master teacher at the time. My master teacher deemed me "unqualified" to be a teacher after ONLY TWO WEEKS of student teaching (i.e., ONE WEEK of ONLY OBSERVING him/her and after ONLY TWO or THREE DAYS of teaching four of his/her six periods, which, in my opinion, is highly unfair because I was a "newbie").

    Thus, I knew that I would not be able to go to my master teacher to get "cum files" on two focus students (i.e., an ESL student and a student with a disability) for my TPA #3, which is why I decided to "make up" my TPA #3.

    Then, when my TPA #3 class professor read my weekly TPA #3 drafts, he/she was "highly complimentary" of my draft to that point. Thus, I most likely would have passed my TPA #3, too... probably with another "4."

    The point is that TPA's as a requirement for a teaching credential in the state of California should be abolished. As I illustrated, TPA's are a "highly subjective measure" of a potential teacher's ability for future success (e.g., two evaluators can disagree on the score of a student's TPA, and the student would have to redo the TPA), which is "a big waste of time."

    Instead, I propose that potential teachers should be required to complete four modules/semesters/terms for a teaching credential. The first and second modules/semesters/terms would consist of teaching students CONCRETE and OBJECTIVE teaching strategies and techniques, such as "cause and effect charts/maps," "chunking," and "teaching new material in/with context."

    Then, the third module/semester/term would be the students' time to see "real teachers" in "real classrooms" utilizing the CONCRETE and OBJECTIVE teaching strategies and techniques that the students' were taught in modules/semesters/terms one and two (i.e., the third module/semester/term would be the student observation module/semester/term). Finally, the four and final module/semester/term would be the students' student teaching module/semester/term.

    My proposal would be a highly effective way to develop new teachers for the state of California because modules/semesters/terms one and two would build a foundation of teaching strategies and techniques. A house needs a good and strong foundation, right? So does a potential teacher!

    Then, after a foundation is in place, potential teachers can observe/see "real teachers" in "real classrooms" utilizing various strategies and techniques. This module/semester/term would be a building block on the foundation that has been established.

    Finally, potential teachers can then utilize what they have learned in the modules/semesters/terms one and two and observed/saw in module/semester/term three in their student teaching module/semester/term four. This is the final building block for potential teachers. Most teaching students would then be highly prepared and ready for real teaching in real classrooms, which is where they would then get very valuable experience in developing their own style and method of teaching.

    In closing, I do not think that it should be a requirement for potential teachers to earn teaching degrees. I believe that if people have the desire and passion to enter the teaching profession, then they should be allowed to do so without a teaching degree, but, of course, not without a teaching credential. I "just think" that in California, TPA's are not a good or practical requirement to develop effective and good teachers... I think that, to begin with, a good and effective teacher needs to have desire and passion and then be developed and taught via the aforementioned proposal.
     
  24. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    May 11, 2013

    In a word: yes.
     
  25. mrking47968

    mrking47968 Rookie

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    May 11, 2013

    In Indiana, we have a very strict evaluation process. Teacher's have to be evaluated 6 times a year and rubric is very intense. No longer does seniority matter. The best teachers stay!
     
  26. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    May 11, 2013

    You will never get rid of this standard, because it has an effect on multiple economies within teaching, that depend on such a system. Changing teacher certificaiton (to a more practical system--e.g. where desirous teachers would get hands-on into classrooms) would certainly negatively effect things like: teacher salaries, college preparatory programs, jobs of mentor teachers & the like.
     
  27. bbcbbc

    bbcbbc Rookie

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    May 11, 2013

    Yes, you are correct... things will not change.

    However, should not a high quality student education from teachers who have the desire and passion to teach (i.e., instead of just collecting a paycheck) be the goal?

    To say "yes" and not make a radical change in the system is hypocrisy, which is why the educational system in California is in the state that it is in. :(
     
  28. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    May 11, 2013

    Yup.
     
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