Thursday, October 13, 2011

Teachers Needed: Only Mature, Experienced People Need Apply

Everyone who remembers his own education remembers teachers, not methods and techniques. The teacher is the heart of the educational system.
-- Sidney Hook
Many would-be educational reformers suffer the delusion that they will be able to “turn around” troubled schools by hiring newly post-adolescent, recent college graduates. They will likely be cheaper, but unlikely to be effective.

Change-of-career entrants into teaching are perhaps the best prospect for reform in education. Mature people in their thirties, forties and even fifties, generally with a great deal of organizational experience under their belt are leaving the corporate world, leaving industry, and, having raised children, leaving the household, looking for something "new and different," something "more human," some undertaking that has concerns other than "the almighty dollar."

Undergraduate teacher candidates are commonly unself-possessed, befuddled by pedagogical catchwords, and often all-too-ready to abandon what few ethical precepts they have for the sake of a job. In contrast, these change-of-career entrants come into education with a sharpened critical sensitivity that often leaves them dismayed upon first exposure to the ethical and political morasses not infrequently encountered in education today. That there is a ethical dimension to education need hardly be argued to this experienced group. Inexperienced undergraduates, on the contrary, generally only want to talk about technique.

To examine this issue further, see The Ethical Miseducation of Educators

-- EGR

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