Praiseworthy Innovation

“Addressing pandemic disinterest in the teaching profession with Teach for America and Teach First programs may be a solution to local shortcomings but will not cure the systemic infections that cause current educational underperformance in many countries. We should instead restore the fundamental meaning and values of school education. Without public schools, our nations and communities are poorly equipped to value humanity, equality and democracy. I think we should not educate children to be similar according to a standardized metric but help them to discover their own talents and teach them to be different from one another. Diversity is richness in humanity and a condition for innovation.”

By Pasi Sahlberg

More and more, I feel that while homeschooling is among the best options for children, it is not a viable option for many parents. In order to fill that void, we really need to rethink how we view school and what purpose it serves for society. I am beginning to strongly feel that a complete overhaul is necessary. Thoughts?

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~ by Omaira on December 5, 2012.

4 Responses to “Praiseworthy Innovation”

  1. I participated in a similar program in Phoenix (Phoenix Teaching Fellows) and have encountered both positive and negative thoughts from this program. I know and need to be a teacher; it’s what drives me, but others in the profession, like most other areas in the struggling economy, do not share these feelings. Yes, there are others like me who base their lives around educating others, but I met enough people in my same or similar programs who quote “are using this to have a job until they find something else they like”. This was disheartening to me, but are these bad people? No. They are providing for themselves and their families.

    The Los Angeles Times had a story a few weeks back ( http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-teacher-needs-20121119,0,917476.story ) that discusses how inexperienced teachers, including those from programs like TFA, are being placed with lower performing students. These students receive as much as 8 months less of intensive instruction in a school year with these inexperienced teachers as they would with a highly effective teachers.

    I completely agree with allowing students to gauge their learning experience on their ambitions for their future, but when should this begin?

    Very good questioning!

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and for your thoughtful response. You bring up some excellent points and I agree with you. I do think these programs are good – I have a friend who did TFA and has just recently completed her PhD in Education – but putting novice teachers with students who really need the experience of effective, seasoned, and highly trained teachers seems counter-productive. And the difficulty is many of those teachers may not want those jobs, hence the novice teachers.

      I don’t have an answer…and regarding learning experience, perhaps when they feel they have an interest. For this reason apprenticeships and volunteer opportunities would be great. But if it’s about putting food on the table for your family you are definitely not looking to volunteer.

      Thank you for commenting!

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