Education Opinion

Imagine all the Teachers

By LeaderTalk Contributor — May 05, 2009 1 min read
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Earlier this week, I posted this on Education Futures:

“Let your mind wonder for just a moment. As yourself this question: If I could redesign an entire teacher education program, what would it look like?

Here is my vision of a teacher education program. I imagine a teacher preparation program that:

-Challenges the individual. No one in this program would say “But I thought getting an education degree was suppose to be easy!”
-Is rigorous enough to attract intellectual, innovative, thought-leaders
-Robustly develops a student’s ability to solve problem, become a critical thinker, and work collaboratively.
-Is packed with upper level courses in history, ethics, mathematics, law, economics, policy, research, engineering, biology, anatomy, chemistry, and computer sciences (just to name a few).
-Is academically challenging so that becoming a educator is professionalized at the level of doctors, lawyers, MBAs, etc.
-Stresses global, national, and local issues. Students would not only understand where Cambodia is, but have some understanding of its politics, culture, history, and relationship to the rest of the world.
-Mandates each student study abroad.
-Mandates the individual gain proficiency in a foreign language.
-Forces the pre-teacher to act on the tenants of social justice and peace education. This individual would be a skilled conflict mediator.
-Produces teachers who are intercultural leaders.

The main draw back would be that this individual may be too marketable for the teacher education profession. With skills like these, what Fortune 500 or innovate start-up company would not be banging on this person’s door? This individual would be a cosmopolitan and in high demand. Thus, if such a teacher education program were created, how could we retain such individuals. Isn’t this the person you want to teach your children? Why are we not doing more to create cosmopolitan educators? What is your vision? Are there revolutionary programs out there? I would love to hear about innovative approaches currently underway.”

If a person were to completely redesign a principal preparation program, what would it look like? What components are must haves? What dispositions are needed by school leaders? I will post my list soon!

Jayson Richardson
Department of Educational Leadership
University of North Carolina Wilmington

The opinions expressed in LeaderTalk are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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