Opinion
Education Opinion

Teacher Unpreparation

By LeaderTalk Contributor — May 25, 2009 1 min read

Recently several discussions, articles I have read, experiences I have had and also videos I have seen, have give me reason to believe that colleges are not preparing teachers to teach the youth of the 21st century in the realms of cultural sensitivity and technology (to name only two areas).

The link below will show a video that is in American Sign Language. I used to teach deaf students, so it strikes a chord with me. It describes how one program from Southern Mississippi was lauded as a great program for deaf education. However, after looking at the courses offered, it became clear that they view deafness as a pathology and ignored the cultural components that make up deaf culture. What does this say about our teacher prep programs when they ignore such a rich culture and language that is viable in the 21st century? After all, this is a language that has been shown in numerous research studies to help young children with verbal and nonverbal skills.

Another example is that many colleges and universities do not even require teachers to take one technology course as part of their degree. New teachers come to the classroom with the knowledge of Facebook but have no idea on how to apply Web 2.0, specifically, social networking to the classroom! We are coming across teacher after teacher that do not know how to take the skills that they may know and apply them to their pedagogy. Teacher prep programs should require the application of skills and not only the knowledge of them.

So look at the clip below and answer the question that Sean Connery asks.

James Yap

Deaf Ed. Example
//blogs.edweek.org/edweek/LeaderTalk/upload/2009/05/jamesyap/elliottness.flv

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