Teaching the teachers was the focus of discussion among a panel of education experts at IUPUI Friday. Much of the discussion among panel members centered around what schools of education need to do to better prepare their students to become effective teachers.
Panel member Sandra Stotsky, an education researcher at the University of Arkansas, says a teacher’s knowledge in the subject they are teaching is one of the most significant factors in teacher and, therefore, student success. And she says ensuring that knowledge begins with toughening admission standards at schools of education.
“We no longer can count on strong high school preparation, which is what other countries rely on for those they admit to a teacher preparation program,” Stotsky says.
Hunter College of Education at City University of New York Dean David Steiner says the country’s education system is struggling in part because it is so fractured.
“We have no national curriculum,” he says. “We don’t even have state curriculums. We have not agreed as a population about what it is that is worth teaching.”
Both Steiner and Stotsky say even the job of evaluating teachers is a challenge because people cannot seem to agree on the best way to do it.