By 2036, the forms of teacher preparation that currently prevail in Western nations will have sunk into oblivion. We will have discarded schools of education, the pedagogies they teach, and the certification apparatus that they serve. Such schools, pedagogies, and certifications have clung to life stubbornly for the better part of a century despite ample evidence of their unsuitability. Why predict that in the next 30 years they will finally follow the giant ground sloth into the La Brea tar pit of history?
In an era when jobs that require a high level of trained intelligence flow easily to India and other countries, Western countries are awakening to the awkward reality that we are not very good at basic schooling.
Mediocre teaching isn’t the only reason we aren’t very good at basic schooling. A distressingly large and growing percentage of children grow up semi-parentless; increasingly children are lost in the buzz of electronic distractions; and we preoccupy kids with group grievances at the expense of learning. Every few years our governments launch ambitious new programs of school reform, each of which seems to create a maelstrom of new kinds of educational misfeasance.
But after we have sifted and weighed all these contributory maladies, the main problem remains that we just don’t do a very good job at encouraging talented people to become teachers and equipping them along the way with the right kind of preparation. The single biggest cause of the deficiencies in our schools is the risible system by which we train teachers.
Joanne has more.