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Friday, September 13, 2013
Quick and the Ed on Professionalism
I was thrilled to read this post on the Quick and the Ed a few days ago. Cookson writes about the importance of treating teachers like professionals. Take a few minutes and read it. It's rings true in so many ways.
"We appear to be on a path to de-professionalize teaching. Implicitly we require teachers to teach to the test and evaluate them on student test scores. We seem eager to replace teachers with computers. We applaud Ivy League short timers as heroes. We revere studies that appear to be meaningful (i.e. students do better with good teachers) but resist actually paying teachers a professional wage. We demonize teacher unions.
In short, we are missing the point big time. If we want to liberate learning for all students, we need to liberate teachers and institute policies that professionalize teaching. To do that we need to dramatically overhaul the curricula of schools of education, demand excellence from teaching candidates, provide professional autonomy to teachers and reward success in the classroom with more than a pat on the back or a token bonus.
These are straightforward ideas, not original to me. Unfortunately, we suffer from political paralysis. Let’s get over it. Let’s be leaders in professionalizing teaching."