Letters to the Editor
David S. Seeley Educational Consultant Adjunct Professor College of Staten Island Staten Island, N.Y.
It was dismaying, but not surprising, to read recently that people are still recommending more of the same remedy for teacher education that has so much contributed to its present disease ("Teacher-Training and Credentialing Programs Attacked in Hearing," Education Week, Oct. 24, 1984).
It seems so rational to reason that because "teaching is just as complex as medicine," as one hearing participant commented, we should, therefore, expand the requirements for specialized pre-service training. Yet it has been just such linear thinking that has led to the monopoly of mediocrity that so characterizes teacher training today.
When will we confront the fact that we are closing out talent from public-school teaching that we desperately need because of requirements to take courses that are, alas, still too often repellent to many of our best undergraduates? I'm not for a minute suggesting we don't try to improve teacher training. But in the meantime I would hope that more teacher educators, and certainly the National Commission on Excellence in Teacher Education, would recognize that in the long term it will be in the best interests of the profession--and therefore of teacher education--to do our best to open the profession to the best talent we can find. When we have attracted these students, we can offer them whatever programs really prove valuable for improving teaching and not just those programs that those in charge of the monopoly think "should'' improve teaching.