The Metropolitan Life Foundation will provide $100,000 to support five "Teacher-Business Roundtables" planned by the Committee for Economic Development. The roundtables, scheduled to take place during the next 18 months, will bring together teachers, school officials, and business executives to discuss the issues raised in the ced's recent report, "Investing in Our Children: Business and the Public Schools."
The ced, a nonprofit organization whose trustees represent 225 of the nation's leading corporations and higher-education institutions, called in its report for "bottom up" school reforms that would give more authority to teachers, provide more resources for preschool programs for the disadvantaged, and direct more attention to elementary and middle schools. (See Education Week, Sept. 11, 1985.)
"Teachers and business executives should have mutual objectives for improvement," said John J. Creedon, president of the Metropolitan Insurance Company, in announcing the grant.
The Rand Corporation, a research institute based in Santa Monica, Calif., has received $500,000 in grants to support the work of its new Center for the Study of the Teaching Profession.
According to its director, Arthur E. Wise, the center was created last spring in response to warnings by experts of an imminent teacher-shortage crisis.
A report issued last year by Rand said that unless reforms are made, the least academically qualified college graduates will become the "tenured teaching force for the next two generations of American children."
The goal of the new center is to help "federal, state, and local policymakers design policies that will make teaching a more attractive profession," Mr. Wise said.
The center has received grants of $300,000 from the James S. McDonnell Foundation, $100,000 from the Metropolitan Life Foundation, $75,000 from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, and $25,000 from the Aetna Life & Casualty Foundation Inc.
The U.S. Senate, in approving an $18.3-billion fiscal 1986 budget for the Education Department, has earmarked $20 million for new programs designed to attract talented students to teaching and improve the quality of school administration.
The two new programs were authorized by S 2565, which the Congress passed last year but did not fund in the 1985 appropriation.
The 1986 funding bill, HR 3424, allocates:
$10 million for Carl D. Perkins Scholarships. This program--also known as the Talented Teacher Act--provides college scholarships to outstanding high-school graduates who want to become teachers.
In the 10-year period following their college graduation, scholarship recipients would be required to teach for two years in an elementary or secondary school for each year they had received assistance.
$10 million to provide initial4funding for the Leadership in Educational Administration Development Act. This program is intended to provide "seed money" to institutions of higher education or state and local educational agencies to establish within each state at least one administrative-training institute.
The House-passed appropriations bill did not include money for either of these programs. Differences will be resolved in a House-Senate conference.
The "closed-door mentality" of teaching hurts both teachers and the profession, according to Willis D. Copeland and Richard Jamgochian, professors of education at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
They maintain in a recent article in the Journal of Teacher Education that teachers should avoid isolation and work as much as possible with colleagues.
That teachers most often work alone, the professors argue, can be blamed in large part on teacher-training programs--and can be remedied by the colleges of education and their faculties.
They suggest "training for collegiality," including such features as requiring students to develop and teach lessons with a partner.
"Professions that most successfully regulate themselves are characterized by a high degree of collegiality," conclude Mr. Copeland and Mr. Jamgochian.
James Squires, editor of the Chicago Tribune, and Chester E. Finn Jr., assistant secretary for educational research and improvement in the U.S. Education Department, will be featured speakers this week at a symposium on education reform sponsored by Vanderbilt University's George Peabody College for Teachers.
The symposium is part of Peabody's 200th birthday celebration.
"The purpose of celebrating Peabody's past and present contributions to education and human development goes beyond self-congratulation," said Willis Hawley, dean of the college.
"Remembering historic achievements and demonstrating current capabilities will remind us that the future of the college lies in its ability to break new ground and to redefine convention," Mr. Hawley said.
Mr. Squires is a Peabody alumnus and Mr. Finn is on a leave of absence from the faculty of the college.
The American Field Service expanded its visiting-teachers program this fall to include teacher exchanges in Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, and Venezuela.
Under the four-year-old program, secondary-school teachers live with a host family for three to six months while observing and teaching in a local school. In addition to the new exchange sites, teachers in the program also can visit China, Thailand, Peru, Chile, or Costa Rica.
For further information, write or call Carolyn Yohannes, afs, 313 East 43rd St., New York, N.Y. 10017; (212) 949-4242, ext. 407.
--cc & jh